Roger Federer returned to Wimbledon and advanced to the second round in quicker fashion than expected after Alexandr Dolgopolov was unfortunately forced to retire suffering with a pre-existing ankle injury.
The third seed looked good during his 42 minutes out on court, breaking his opponent twice in the opening set to take it 6-3 and led 3-0 with Dolgopolov serving at 30-30 in the second set before Dolgopolov shook hands.
* Article originally published by me for UBITennis.net *
Federer got off to the perfect start, not allowing Dolgopolov to settle in to his first match on Centre Court in his career. A double fault left the Ukrainian facing break point and despite saving it with an unreturned serve the Swiss took the second chance drawing the error from his opponent after bringing him forward to the net.
Dolgopolov had a 15-30 advantage on both of the Swiss’ opening two service games but was unable to capitalise before facing two more break points himself in the seventh game. The Ukrainian stepped up and continued to try and play the match on his own terms, saving both chances with big forehands before holding to stay in touch in the opening set.
Serving to stay in set, a blistering return of serve winner which caught the back edge of the line from Federer followed by a third double fault from Dolgopolov brought up two set points for the third seed. The Ukrainian saved the first but Federer claimed the second to take a one set lead in this opening round match on Centre Court.
Federer dominated early on in the second set as well, with Dolgopolov continuing to struggle with injury. The Swiss broke in his opponent’s service game once again and swiftly established a 3-0 lead. The fourth game on the Ukrainian’s serve went to 30-30 before Dolgopolov walked to the net to shake hands and call time on the match, the second retirement of the day on Centre Court after Martin Klizan also withdrew during his match against Novak Djokovic.
The third seed will now face the winner of the match between Dusan Lajovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round two on Thursday.