Roger Federer has reached the second week at Wimbledon for the 18th time in his career with a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win over Cameron Norrie.
Federer played some spotless tennis in the first two sets on Saturday, winning them both 6-4. He then briefly lost his way, allowing Norrie back into the match by getting broken at 5-6 in the third.
However, the eight-time champion found an extra gear in the fourth set to close out a strong win. And during his on-court interview after the match, Federer expressed delight with his form and also cracked a joke at his own expense.
“I think overall I’m definitely playing at a high level right now,” Federer said. “I got lucky in that first round. My English is better, things are really going very well for me.”
For the uninitiated, Roger Federer was asked after his first-round win over Adrian Mannarino if “absence made his heart grow fonder”. In response, the Swiss pointed out that he didn’t know the meaning of the idiom, and even claimed that his English was “not good enough”.
With his win over Norrie, Federer has made it to the fourth round of a Major for the 69th time in his career. When informed about this feat, the sixth seed admitted he likes to come across such numbers as they reassure him about the hard yards he has put in.
“It’s a nice stat to hear,” Federer said. “It proves to me that when I do wake up in the morning, that that has happened.”
Roger Federer, who will turn 40 in about a month’s time, also acknowledged his love for the sport. The Swiss expressed hope that he still has something left in the tank, in what is essentially the final chapter of his illustrious career.
“I’ve played a lot of tennis,” Roger Federer went on. “I’ve loved every minute of it and I hope there’s a little bit more left in me. It’s an absolute pleasure playing right now. I guess this one’s special just because I’m almost 40, the last round before I hit the big 40. At this point it’s all a bonus and we’ll see how far I can go here.”
I’m super relieved, it was a tough battle: Roger Federer
With Roger Federer leading 6-4, 6-4 and playing some scintillating tennis, many believed the Swiss was on his way to a routine win. But Cameron Norrie handed Federer and his fans a reality check by claiming the third set.
Federer opined that the Brit deserved the third set, but also asserted he was satisfied with his performance despite the minor hiccup.
“I’m super relieved,” Federer said on court. “It was a tough battle. It was so close…He deserved that third set. I thought he played excellent today and for me, I felt I was really able to keep a very high level of play and he got the good break there at the end of the third that cost me the set, but overall I can be very happy with how I played.”