Federer Continues Mischa Dominance
Mischa Zverev joked before his Wimbledon third-round match against Roger Federer that when the seven-time champion is at his best, “You just walk around, pick up balls [and] hope that he’s going to start missing.”
Federer didn't miss much on Saturday, though. The third seed Federer hammered 61 winners to just seven errors and won 83 per cent of his first-serve points to prevail over the 28th seed Zverev 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 49 minutes. The victory puts Federer into the second week at Wimbledon for the 15th time.
“I had really good focus on my serve today. It was avoidable not to be broken in the first set, but then I hung on down break point at 5-5 in the first set. That was definitely a key moment,” said Federer. “The serve is clearly important. Good servers do usually quite well here on the grass.”
Federer improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Zverev to 5-0. Three of those wins have come on grass, including a straight-sets win two weeks ago at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle and a double-bagel victory at that same event in 2013.
He'll next play 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who moved through after Dudi Sela was forced to retire because of a right adductor strain in their third-round clash. The Bulgarian was leading 6-1, 6-1 before play came to a close.
Dimitrov warmly embraced Sela as the 32-year-old Israeli conceded the match. Sela had come through his first two matches in five sets, including an upset win over John Isner in the second round.
Federer leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Dimitrov 5-0, but all of their meetings have come on hard courts. The Swiss maestro won their lone match at a Grand Slam in the third-round of last year's Australian Open.
“He’s a good shot-maker. A one-handed backhand always brings a bit of a different feel to the match because of the slice and then coming over it. He always has two options. The double-hander will most likely come over the shot and only slice as a mix-up. So with him, it's different,” said Dimitrov. “He's in the prime of his career right now. He’s become better every time I’ve played him, so I expect the same on Monday.”
The 26-year-old Dimitrov is yet to drop a set as he prepares to contest the fourth round at SW19 for the second time. The right-hander went on to reach the semi-finals in 2014 (l. to Djokovic). He reached his second Grand Slam semi-final at the start of 2017 in Melbourne, losing out to Rafael Nadal in five sets.
Sam Querrey and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga returned to No. 2 Court for just a matter of minutes as the American wrapped up their third-round battle 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-5. Play was suspended due to darkness on Friday evening, with Querrey leading 6-5 in the fifth set, and the American seized his chance at the resumption, breaking Tsonga immediately to seal victory.
“I told myself to try to be aggressive. On the last game I had a little bit of the house money since I was returning first and I kind of had a game to play with... I think that helped,” Querrey said.
Watch Highlights: Querrey v Tsonga
The American made headlines at the All England Club last year when he stunned Novak Djokovic in the third round and went on to reach the quarter-finals (l. to Raonic). Looking to make the last eight for the second year in a row, Querrey will face Kevin Anderson, whom he leads 7-5 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
“Grass is probably my favourite surface. Wimbledon is my favourite tournament. And for the first time in my career to have back-to-back years where I have made the second week is exciting,” Querrey said. “[Anderson has] one of the best serves in the game. A lot of times when you play a big server you actually need to focus on your own serve more, because sometimes you can take it for granted that I'm just going to hold and you'll be good... It's going to come down to a couple points here or there.”