Federer oldest to Wimbledon 3rd round since ’75

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LONDON — Roger Federer became the oldest man to reach the third round at Wimbledon in 46 years, winning every service game Thursday to extend his winning streak against Richard Gasquet to 11 matches, 7-6 (1), 6-1, 6-4.

“I was really happy with my performance,” Federer told the crowd.

He turns 40 next month. Ken Rosewall was 40 when he made a run to the fourth round in 1975.

Federer improved to 19-2 against Gasquet and has won all five of their Grand Slam meetings in straight sets.

In only his 10th match this year, Federer was delighted with the victory, but said he is not getting carried away with his promising start to this year’s championship.

“I don’t know,” Federer said when asked how far he can go. “It’s not the most important to feel your absolute best in the first and second round. You just don’t want to go out. … It was definitely, like you said, one of the highlights of the year so far.”

He’s bidding for his ninth Wimbledon title and his 21st major championship, which would break the men’s record he shares with Rafael Nadal.

Many familiar faces still are chasing the men’s title this fortnight. Besides Federer, No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev, No. 4 Alexander Zverev and No. 7 Matteo Berrettini all won Thursday.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic‘s bid for a sixth title resumes Friday.

Federer is still flying under the radar when it comes to the bookmakers, with Djokovic the clear favorite to take this year’s title. While Federer said he doesn’t care for what the bookmakers say, he did agree Djokovic deserves the “favorite” tag.

Next up is Cam Norrie on Saturday, and Federer is looking forward to facing the British player on his home turf.

“At the end of the day, you have to focus on your game,” Federer said. “If the crowd gets into it, it’s good, even if it’s maybe for him. Let’s see what happens. The worst is if there’s a lot of people sitting there but there’s no noise. On Centre Court, you always have a guaranteed good atmosphere regardless if they are for or against you. So that’s why I think for me it’s such a wonderful court to play on.”

Medvedev dispatched promising 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. After the match, Medvedev, a two-time Grand Slam finalist who has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon, predicted his opponent will soon be a top-10 player.

Alcaraz has drawn similar praise from Nadal, his countryman, and also made the third round at the French Open this year. He was playing Wimbledon for the first time after being given a wild card.

Zverev rode his powerful serve into the third round, beating American Tennys Sandgren 7-5, 6-2, 6-3.

The German player lost only five points on his serve in the first two sets, then saved the only break point he faced with a backhand winner down the line when leading 2-1 in the third. Zverev broke again in the final game when Sandgren netted a forehand.

Zverev reached the US Open final in 2020 and the semifinals at the recent French Open but has never been past the round of 16 at Wimbledon.

Former US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori lost 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to Jordan Thompson of Australia.

Norrie reached the third round with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Alex Bolt as Britain — with Andy Murray and Dan Evans also advancing — has three men into the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in 22 years.

ESPN’s Tom Hamilton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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