WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for the legendary Roger Federer’s second-round clash with fellow stalwart Richard Gasquet.
01:00 (AEST), Fri 2nd Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: Played 20: Federer 18 V Gasquet 2
Last meeting: Australian Open, 2021 (R64): Kyrgios d Humbert 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4
Final Thoughts: It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for Roger Federer first up but Wimbledon’s winningest men’s player is through to the second round, where he will meet French journeyman Richard Gasquet.
Sixth seed Federer advanced past Adrian Mannarino, who was forced to retire at the end of the fourth set after slipping and suffering an injury. Federer found himself two sets to one down after winning the first. He lost only two games on serve but there was a fair bit of rust from the G.O.A.T., who made several uncharacteristic unforced errors against the feisty Mannarino.
Federer is chasing his ninth Wimbledon crown and 21st Grand Slam title overall. He has only lost in the first two rounds of a major once since the 2003 French Open and has reached 12 of the last 17 Wimbledon finals, including in 2019 when he lost a classic to Novak Djokovic.
Confronting that remarkable record of consistency on the big stage is Gasquet. A career-high seventh in the world back in 2007, the 35-year-old is currently ranked 56th.
In his only pre-Wimbledon outing after losing to Rafael Nadal in the second round at the French Open, Gasquet reached the Nottingham Challenger quarters as the top seed but retired during the third set against Aussie Alex Bolt.
But he made a solid start at the All England Club, overwhelming Yuichi Sugita 7-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 in the opening round.
Gasquet is on a streak of failing to make it past the second round of his past six majors. But he is a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist (2007 and 2015) and reached the fourth round here another five times.
The veterans have met a whopping 20 times, with Federer predictably boasting a dominant 18-2 record. Gasquet’s last win over Federer was at the 2011 Rome Masters, losing 10 straight since. Federer eliminated Gasquet from Wimbledon in 2005 (R128) and 2007 (SF), as well as their only other two Grand Slam meetings, the 2015 US Open (QF) and 2018 Australian Open (R32).
This may be the 39-year-old Federer’s last genuine shot at a Wimbledon title, or even Grand Slam success. Gasquet is a fine grass-court competitor but Federer will eventually rebuff his challenge. Even if he drops a set while doing so.
|Tennys Sandgren V Alexander Zverev||Games Handicap – Zverev -6.5 @ $1.87|
|Kei Nishikori V Jordan Thompson||Set Handicap – Thompson +1.5 @ $2.44|
|Jeremy Duckworth V Sam Querrey||Games Handicap – Duckworth +4.5 @ $1.93|