Roger Federer ready for battle against British hope Cameron Norrie at Wimbledon

The 20-time Grand Slam champion eased past Gasquet on Thursday

Eight-time champion Roger Federer eased past Richard Gasquet and moved serenely into the third round of Wimbledon after a straight-sets win on Centre Court.

It was not quite Federer at top gear, but the 7,500 fans packed around his favourite court did not care as the Swiss sealed a 7-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory.

Federer, 39, became the oldest man in 46 years to reach the third round at SW19 — Australia's Ken Rosewall was 40 when he made it to that stage at the All England Club in 1975.

Federer beat Gasquet for the 19th time in 21 meetings and will take on home player Cameron Norrie — who thrashed Australian Alex Bolt — for a place in the last 16.

“I know Richard really well, we've played so many times against each other. It's always a pleasure playing against him,” said Federer.

“It was a wonderful match, I'm happy with my performance. A tough first set, I was happy with the second set and I was better in the third, so I'm very, very happy.”

“I hope the crowd gets into it,” said sixth seed Federer on facing Norrie. “I understand if they cheer for him and if it is for me it is because of the last 20 years and all the big wins I've had here.

“Cam is a good guy, he's had a wonderful year and played great at Queen's, backing that up here.”

But, after a slow start against Gasquet — he saved three break points in his first service game — Federer dominated the first-set tie-break and then loosened up to ease through the next two sets.

“It's not the most important to feel your absolute best in the first and second round,” Federer said.

“What you really don't want to do is go out because then you really have to look at everything and question yourself.

“I'm in the third round, I'm really happy with my level right now. Today was special and I'm very happy with that.”

Nick Kyrgios, playing in his first tournament since his home Grand Slam in Australian, progressed with a straight sets win, overcoming Italian Gianluca Mager 7-6, 6-4, 6-4. Kyrgios now faces Canadian 16th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev also coasted into the next round, defeating Tennys Sandgren 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 on Court Two to set up a tie against the American Taylor Fritz.

Updated: July 2nd 2021, 5:30 AM
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