Federer crushes Clarke to reach Wimbledon third round
LONDON (Reuters) – Roger Federer dashed home hopes of an outlandish upset at Wimbledon by easing into the third round with a 6-1 7-6(3) 6-2 win over Britain’s world number 169 Jay Clarke on Thursday to reach the third round.
Federer had never lost a Grand Slam match to somebody as low as Clarke in the rankings and, despite the Briton putting up a brave fight in the second set, the huge gulf in class ensured the Swiss never had to get out of second gear.
Chasing a ninth Wimbledon title, Federer blasted out of the blocks, winning the opening set in double quick time, before Clarke got a foothold in the contest, holding serve throughout the second set to force a tiebreak.
The home crowd began to sense the beginnings of an upset when Clarke secured a mini-break on the Federer serve, but it was a fleeting advantage, with the Swiss taking the set and breaking early in the third.
The 20-year-old Clarke handed Federer matchpoint with a double fault and the 20-times Grand Slam champion wrapped up the contest when the Briton sent a backhand wide.
“I really enjoyed myself. The tank is full. I came here with a lot of confidence, the first few matches haven’t been very taxing physically. You try to win your matches regardless of the score, if you win them in straights that’s better,” Federer said.
“This first week has been going well and I know the opponents in terms of ranking will now get better.”
The Swiss will next face either Lucas Pouille or Gregoire Barrere.