Federer Fights Into Wimbledon Fourth Round For 18th Time
Roger Federer experienced a wobble late in the third set against Cameron Norrie on Saturday, but the Swiss superstar was ultimately able to continue his quest for a record-extending ninth crown at The Championships, Wimbledon.
The sixth-seeded Swiss recorded the 1,250th match win of his illustrious career by overcoming British 29th seed Norrie 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes on Centre Court.
“I’m super relieved as it was a tough battle,” said Federer, in an on-court interview. “I was so close to serving it out in the third set and I thought he played excellent today. I think I kept a high-level of play, but he did well to break me at the end of the third set. Overall, I can be very happy with the way I played.”
Most Wimbledon Fourth-Round Appearance In Open Era (Since April 1968)
|Player||No. of Appearances|
|1) Roger Federer (SUI)||18|
|2) Jimmy Connors (USA)||16|
|3) Novak Djokovic (SRB)||13|
|4) Boris Becker (GER)||12|
|=5) John McEnroe (USA)||11|
|=5) Andy Murray (GBR)||11|
Federer, whose only loss to a British player at Wimbledon came against Tim Henman in the 2001 quarter-finals, came into the grass-court major searching for form, but he has now reached the Wimbledon fourth round on 18 occasions in 22 visits. Federer hit 48 winners, including seven aces to beat Norrie, the recent cinch Championships finalist (l. to Berrettini).
The former World No. 1, who is now 104-13 at The Championships, will next challenge Italian 23rd seed Lorenzo Sonego in his quest for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam singles title. Federer, who is currently tied with Spain's Rafael Nadal on 20 major crowns, beat Sonego in straight sets in their only meeting at 2019 Roland Garros.
Norrie, who was competing in his third straight Grand Slam third round, let Federer in the door in the sixth game. From 2-3 down, Federer won 12 points in a row to seize control, including a break of serve to love that saw the Swiss rip a forehand winner down the line.
Federer closed out the 30-minute opener, won four points in a row from 15/40 at 0-1 in the second set, and broke in the third game. Norrie saved a set point on serve at 3-5, 30/40, striking a forehand winner, but Federer coolly closed out a two sets advantage in the next game.
Federer continually played close to the lines, keeping Norrie on the move. Just as he'd hit 16 winners in the second set, the 39-year-old used his forehand to great effect after he'd pinned Norrie on his backhand wing. But the Swiss couldn't hammer home his advantage in the third set. From 5-5, 15/40 in the third set, Norrie won eight straight points to extend the pair's first tour-level meeting.
Both players exchanged service breaks midway through the fourth set, but Federer was relentless in his pursuit of the decisive break, which came at 4-4. Minutes later, the Swiss completed his milestone match win.
“I thought I was extremely calm throughout the match,” said Federer. “Maybe that's why I saved all the emotions for the very end. It meant a lot to me, because, I thought actually [that] I played a really good match throughout, except maybe that one game where Norrie [broke] me.
“Credit to him for pushing me. I know he's had a really good season so far. He's played a ton of matches and a lot of tournaments… That's why I was extremely happy that I found ways to fight back in that fourth set.”