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Federer and Nadal to team up in Laver Cup

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have faced each other in eight major finals, plan to team up as doubles partners next year during the inaugural Laver Cup.

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Federer to start 2017 season at Hopman Cup in Perth

Roger Federer will kick off his 20th season as a professional at the Hopman Cup next year, returning to the international team tournament in Perth for the first time since 2002.

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Federer to miss rest of season, including Olympics, US Open with knee injury

Roger Federer will miss the Rio Olympics and the remainder of the 2016 season, including the US Open, in order to fully recover from the knee surgery he underwent earlier this year.

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Swiss street named in Roger Federer's honour

Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has inaugurated a street bearing his name before 1,500 admirers in Biel, canton Bern.

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Roger Federer attends Oscars in Hollywood

Roger Federer stepped out onto the red carpet at the 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Federer considered playing Olympics while skipping US Open, and vice versa

Maybe Roger Federer could play the Olympics and skip the U.S. Open. Or sit out the Rio Games and make it to New York.

The 17-time major champion contemplated both scenarios, holding out hope as long as he could that he'd find a way to enter at least one of the big events in August.

In the end, his balky left knee wouldn't allow him to do either.

At a meeting with doctors and trainers, Federer recalled, ''Everybody said, `You need a break - right now.'''

So the Swiss great announced in late July that he'd miss the rest of the season, by far the longest layoff of a remarkably healthy career.

Federer, who turned 35 this month, was in Manhattan on Wednesday to talk about playing tennis next year at the new Laver Cup team event. But for the first time since 1999, he's not preparing for the U.S. Open.

He underwent an arthroscopic procedure in February to repair torn cartilage - the first surgery of his career. Federer hasn't played since his Wimbledon loss to Milos Raonic, in which he fell awkwardly and called the trainer to check on what had become a nagging knee problem.

''I never really had pain, funny enough,'' Federer said Wednesday. ''It just felt unstable.''

Then there was the swelling.

''When it's swollen, you can't compete at the best level,'' he added.

An MRI didn't show anything distinctly different from before. For all his upbeat talk Wednesday about his future, Federer let some doubts seep in when he discussed the mystery of what's going on in the knee.

''That's why, I think, it's been to some extent frustrating,'' he said. ''At least if I had a lot of pain, or if the scan shows you thoroughly what exactly the problem is, then I think it's easier to take a decision.

''I really hope I'm not being misled by the knee that it doesn't feel painful. But it's just not 100 percent. That's why I just think the beating that I got in Wimbledon and the clay court season was just so complicated.''

Federer, who also skipped the French Open because of a bad back, didn't play tennis for five or six weeks and just now is starting to do a few things on the court. He's focused on exercises to strengthen his left quadriceps, such as squats, so he'll be physically ready once he ramps back up to his full workouts to prepare for January's Australian Open.

It might have been possible to return for a couple of tournaments late in 2016, Federer said, but there was no point once he knew he would miss the bulk of the fall schedule.

He reflected back to this past January, when the Laver Cup concept was unveiled at the Australian Open, and marveled: ''My God, I never thought I was going to have a year the way I had it.''

He hurt his knee while preparing a bath for his twin daughters, then later saw his record 65-appearance streak at major tournaments end. Federer won't win a title in a season for the first time since 2000.

He insisted he hasn't missed competition yet, though maybe that will change when the U.S. Open starts next week. The quiet away from the spotlight has been nice, he said - even if he quickly amended that to: ''I've got four kids - it's a different quiet.''

Back in New York, site of five of his titles, Federer said he watched a lot of volleyball during the Olympics and spoke to Andy Murray after the Brit won gold.

Date: 30 August 2016, Source: AP

Federer and Nadal to team up in Laver Cup

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have faced each other in eight major finals, plan to team up as doubles partners next year during the inaugural Laver Cup.

With a combined 31 Grand Slam titles, Federer and Nadal have committed to the team event, which attempts to create a tennis version of golf's Ryder Cup.

Named for Australian great Rod Laver, the competition pitting a squad of European men's players against a group from the rest of the world was first announced in January. On Wednesday, organizers said the first edition would be held in Prague on September 22-24, 2017, indoors at the O2 Arena.

For his part, Federer is excited to finally be on the same side as his rival's impressive talents.

“It’s going to be absolutely unbelievable to be on the same side of the net with Rafa, finally. Rather than always facing that big forehand, now I can actually support it and say ‘hit one more’ and take a lot of joy out of it,” Federer said.

As for Nadal: “It’s going to be a very special feeling to be on the same team as Roger. We have been rivals for all our careers, so to be on the same team and even play doubles together will be very, very special.”

Former rivals Bjorn Borg of Sweden (Europe) and John McEnroe of the U.S. (World team) will serve as captains for the first three years.

Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Federer and Nadal - accounting for 60 major singles titles - gathered at a Manhattan hotel Wednesday for the announcements.

The plan is for the Laver Cup to be held annually, except during Olympic years, two weeks after the U.S. Open, with the location rotating. There will be six men on each team: four based on the rankings after Wimbledon, and two captain's picks announced after the U.S. Open.

There will be 12 matches played over three days (nine singles and three doubles), with the number of points awarded for victories increasing each day. Each player will take the court once or twice for singles, with at least four of the six taking part in doubles.

All the matches will be best-of-three, but if the first two sets are split, they will go to a 10-point tiebreaker.

Borg hopes that the other half of the ''Big Four'' - the current top two men in the rankings, Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Britain's Andy Murray - will join Switzerland's Federer and Spain's Nadal on the Europe team. McEnroe acknowledged that for now at least, his World squad would be the heavy underdog, though a lot can happen in just over a year.

Beyond the Big Four, Europe boasts 13 of the current top 15 players in the men's rankings. And active European players have combined for 49 Grand Slam titles; for the rest of the world, it's just one, by Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro.

Federer's management company, TEAM8; Brazilian businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann, a former Davis Cup player; and Tennis Australia partnered to create the Laver Cup.

Date: 24 August 2016, Source: AP

Luthi: Federer is rehabbing and wants to compete at 100% again

Roger Federer's coach, Severin Luthi, says the 17-time Grand Slam champion has not been on a practice court since Wimbledon, but is working to rehabilitate his injuries.

The world No. 3 announced this week that he would not play again this season, but plans to make a full comeback at the start of 2017.

"Since Wimbledon, we hoped Roger could play again rapidly. But we have not even been on the practice court since, which is why this step became obvious. If Wimbledon did not mean so much for him, he probably would have not played it.

"He is working with the physio. He is rebuilding the whole muscle structure, the back and the leg. If he had to play tennis today, he could do that also. The question is at what level and with what price."

According to Luthi, Federer's fall in the Wimbledon semifinals did not affect his decision to take the rest of the season off.

"No, it has nothing to do with this fall. There he had a moment of being afraid, because he did not know what had happened and because he was not fully fit. Till now, he only had few experiences with injuries.

"Since it is solely for the rehabilitation and reconstruction. Another surgery is not necessary because there are no complications in the knee. That's important. He now wants to get back to the state where he can compete 100 percent again."

Was retirement ever discussed?

"No. Never. It's a miracle to see how Roger likes to train, to play, to compete and to travel at his age. I think he is capable of returning back to the world's best, absolutely."

"Roger’s goal is still to play long at the highest level. He has sacrificed the Olympics to play few more years on the tour."

He said the team would now develop a detailed schedule. Federer will work with his physiotherapist on his injuries, and can have a longer session with his physical trainer than he usually does while playing. Then he will return to the practice courts, barring a setback.

Luthi said he is "entirely convinced" that Federer will return, describing him as "positive and inspired."

"Usually, the coach would, for weeks, have to pump up the player," he said. "With him, it's different."

Date: 30 July 2016

Roger Federer to miss rest of season, including Olympics, US Open with knee injury

Roger Federer will miss the Rio Olympics and the remainder of the 2016 season, including the US Open, in order to fully recover from the knee surgery he underwent earlier this year.

Federer went under the knife for the first time in his career in February, having suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee following a run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

In a statement on his Facebook page, the 34-year-old wrote: "I'm extremely disappointed to announce that I will not be able to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio and that I will also miss the remainder of the season.

"Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year.

"The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover.

"It is tough to miss the rest of the year. However, the silver lining is that this experience has made me realise how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries.

"The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and of course you, the fans remains intact. I am as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017."

The announcement means that Federer will not defend his titles in Cincinnati and Basel. The five-time US Open champion will not appear in the final Grand Slam of the year for the first time in his professional career.

Federer was also forced to sit out Roland Garros this year due to ongoing rehab following the knee surgery, breaking a record of 65 consecutive Grand Slam appearances dating back to the 2000 Australian Open.

The Swiss star finishes 2016 with a 21-7 record, which includes finishing as runner-up in Brisbane and posting semi-final showings at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. This marks the first year since 2001 that Federer has not won an ATP World Tour title.

Federer often has spoken about how much the Olympics mean to him, in part because he met his wife, Mirka, when both were athletes at the 2000 Sydney Games. Federer won a silver medal in singles for Switzerland four years ago in London, and he teamed up with Stan Wawrinka to win a gold medal in doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In Brazil, Federer was expected to play singles, doubles with Wawrinka, and mixed doubles with Martina Hingis.

Switzerland's Olympic association rued the withdrawal of Federer, his country's flag bearer at both the 2004 and 2008 Games, but chef de mission Ralph Stoeckli sympathised with the tennis star's decision.

"Nothing is more important for an athlete than their health. We wish Roger Federer a quick recovery and we look forward to following his outstanding career next year," Stoeckli said in a Swiss Olympic Team statement.

Date: 26 July 2016, Source: AP, ATP and AFP

Federer to start 2017 season at Hopman Cup in Perth

Roger Federer will kick off his 20th season as a professional at the Hopman Cup next year, returning to the international team tournament in Perth for the first time since 2002 when he teamed up with his now wife Miroslava Vavrinec, better known as Mirka.

The world No.3 will partner 16th-ranked Belinda Bencic in his first appearance in 15 years at an event that serves as a warm-up for the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open in Melbourne. Federer, 34, teamed with Martina Hingis to win the Hopman Cup in 2001.

"I do remember it was a good preparation way back when so I thought it would be nice to do it again," the 17-times grand slam champion, said in a video release.

"Plus I was watching the telly this year from Brisbane and watching the great atmosphere that was at the Hopman Cup when Nick Kyrgios was playing and Andy Murray was playing and I though it would be cool to be part of that.

"I like to play in new places, if you know how my mind works, it’s always very exciting so I can’t wait."

Acting Premier Liza Harvey said: "We are thrilled that Roger Federer has chosen to start his 2017 season here in Perth.

"The Hopman Cup has welcomed some of the biggest names in tennis over its 28-year history, and the 2017 line-up is off to a terrific start with one of the greatest players of all time."

The Hopman Cup, which was won this year by Australians Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova, takes place at Perth Arena from January 1 to 7.

Date: 21 July 2016

Federer: I hope to be back on Wimbledon Centre Court

Milos Raonic fought back to beat Roger Federer 6-3, 6-7(3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 for a shot at his first Grand Slam title at The Championships on Sunday. The sixth seed came back from two-to-one sets down in three hours and 25 minutes to beat the third seed and seven-time Wimbledon champion, who had opportunities to seize momentum and the match in the fourth set. In Sunday's final, Raonic will face second seed and 2013 champion Andy Murray, who beat No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych, the 2010 finalist, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in under two hours.

But there was a bitter taste in Federer's match after his defeat to Raonic in the semi-finals, with the seven-time former champion left ruing his missed opportunities.

This one clearly hurts because I felt I could have had it, said Federer, who lost a Wimbledon semi-final for the first time (10-1 record). It was really so, so close. It clearly hurts.

Trailing two sets to one, Raonic fended off break points in the fifth and ninth games of the fourth set before Federer appeared poised to take the set to a tie-break when he served at 5-6, 40/0. But two double faults from Federer allowed Raonic back into the 12th game. Thus followed a horror half an hour for Federer, who went on to drop the set and lose serve in the fourth game of the fifth set after an untimely slip.

“Something went wrong. I don't know - I can't believe I served a double fault twice. Unexplainable for me really. Very sad about that, and angry with myself because never should I allow him to get out of that set that easily.

“I mean, he deserved it. He earned it at the end. But I helped him so much to get back into that game. I would like to see a breaker because I was the better player for the set. Then, you know, I know he's great in breakers. It was always going to be tough. But I would have liked to see him scramble more than that.

Opportunities were all around the fourth set. I think I pushed him on a few service games to get the break. But somehow I couldn't get it done. Either he served well or he hit the line on the serve, or with the forehand, he did a great job there. It was always going to come down to a few shots here and there. Unfortunately they went his way today. It's disappointing for me, clearly.”

While disappointment was the overriding emotion for Federer, the 34-year-old Swiss was able to quickly put his run to the semi-finals into perspective, considering his lack of match play this season due to injuries. In just his seventh tournament of the season, Federer had saved match points to edge Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals to put himself one win away from a 28th Grand Slam final.

Coming into Wimbledon, Federer had been forced to miss Roland Garros before suffering semi-final defeats in Stuttgart and Halle to Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev respectively.

The 10 sets I played in the last two matches really gives me the belief that I'm tougher physically than I thought I was, affirmed Federer. I never thought I could do this before the tournament started. Actually, it's very encouraging for the season, hopefully for the rest of my career. Not that I was worried it was going to end somehow, but I was insecure coming into Wimbledon.

“It's been a great run for me here, I must say. At the same time I totally overachieved here. The match against Cilic was epic. It was fun to be part of that match.

Ever classy, Federer waited for Raonic to pack his bags at the end of the match before walking off Centre Court alongside the Canadian, stopping to wave to the crowd that had given the Swiss their full support. And Federer was quick to clarify that it was a wave of thanks and not goodbye to the court on which he has won seven of his Grand Slam titles.

“I was looking at Centre Court as in thank you for the crowd, thank you for the great feeling that you gave me throughout The Championships. I was fortunate enough to play all my matches on Centre Court. I don't take that for granted. For me, it's respect towards Milos to wait for him. You walk off together, thank the crowd at the same time, then leave the stage for Milos really at the end.

“That's what I was going through, not thinking that this might be my last Wimbledon. I hope to be back on Centre Court, to be very clear for you.

Mentally, this one will be hard to shake off; physically, the after-effects remain to be seen. The Swiss was every bit as shocked by his mid court fall in the fifth set as Raonic, the officials, and the 15,000 packed into Centre Court.

“I just hope with the slip I had in the fifth set, I'm going to be fine tomorrow and beyond, Just I hope I didn't hurt myself. Then, is it a three‑day thing, is it a 24‑hour thing or is it more? I don't know at this point. I hope it's not so bad. I walked it off. I was able to finish the match.

“But I don't slip a lot. I don't ever fall down. It was a different fall for me than I've ever had. With the body that's been, you know, playing up this year, I just hope I'm going to be fine. I believe I am, but I'll know more tomorrow when I wake up.”

Date: 8 July 2016, Source: ATP and Wimbledon

Federer produced an epic Wimbledon comeback against Cilic

Third seed and seven-time former champion Roger Federer performed one of his greatest escape acts on Wednesday, saving three match points to come back from two-sets-to-love down and beat ninth seed Marin Cilic 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3.

Federer moves into the Wimbledon semi-finals for the 11th time and will face Milos Raonic, who beat American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. The Swiss star leads their ATP Head to Head series 9-2, including a 2014 Wimbledon win. But Raonic took their most recent match-up 6-4, 6-4 at Brisbane International in January.

And coming through without any physical issues has raised the 34-year-old's confidence ahead of a semi-final against Raonic.

“My legs and back were there and serving was key, plus mentally this will give me a hell of a boost,” Federer said in his post-match TV interview. “I am really ecstatic I was able to make it into the next round.

“I think the last three sets I played really good. It is really encouraging to see I was improving and I was able to sustain a really high level. A lot happened out there. It was nice to play in these conditions and against Marin. He is such a wonderful player and I knew I was in so much trouble in the third set and in the fourth,” continued Federer.

“It was great fun. Marin is one of the nicest guys on the tour so I feel sorry for him, but for me the dream continues. I played super great at the end so I am very, very, pleased.”

With the win, Federer tied records held by Jimmy Connors for most semi-final appearances at Wimbledon (11) and most match wins at the grass-court major (84). He also set an all-time new record for most Grand Slam match wins at 307, passing the record previously held by Martina Navratilova.

Although reaching the final four at Wimbledon has become customary for Federer, it was hardly a guarantee when he arrived in London. The third seed suffered semi-final losses on grass this year to Dominic Thiem in Stuttgart and Alexander Zverev in Halle. Having already been forced to miss Roland Garros this year due to injury, Federer’s run this fortnight came as a surprise even to him.

“I was very worried coming here,” he admitted. “This is huge for me. Epic. Because of the season I’ve had, it’s wonderful to win a match like this, test the body, to be out there again, fighting, being in a physical battle and winning it - it’s an unbelievable feeling.

“Sometimes when you’re two sets to love down, the mountain to climb is so huge it’s monstrous. But I had great focus, and I did believe. It's not a fake belief, it's a real belief that you need to have in those moments. I fought, I tried, I believed. It was great on so many levels.

“I was very happy that I actually felt as strong mentally and physically when I was down two sets to love. Next thing you know, I was serving for the match in the fifth. At the end I got it done. A great, great match. I’m so happy.”

The comeback win marks the 10th time Federer has overcome a 0-2 sets deficit in his career.

“I've had some good comebacks. This one is definitely huge because it's Centre Court at Wimbledon. Still gives me the chance to win the tournament. This is a big one. Probably not the biggest, but a big one,” said the Swiss.

“I cannot believe Roger Federer won that match. Unbelievable tennis. How did he get out of that?” gushed American great and Raonic's coach John McEnroe.

“You've got to love the courage that he is able to find a way to do that.”

Cilic was dictating nearly everything during the first two sets. The 6'6” right-hander was landing booming first serves and seizing play with powerful groundstrokes. Cilic won 87 per cent of his first-serve points and hit 12 aces. The 34-year-old Swiss largely had to play defensive tennis and struggled to get into the biggest points. Federer was 0-3 on break points during the first two sets.

But serving at 0/40, 3-all in the third, Federer somehow reeled off five straight points to hear the roar of the Centre Court crowd, which had been waiting for moments to scream. During the next game, Cilic double faulted on break point and Federer had his first break. A game later, he had clinched the third set.

In the fourth set, Federer seemed to be moving better, serving and volleying and forcing the issue against Cilic. But the Croat regrouped and hung with the Swiss star. Cilic even earned three match points but failed to convert any of them. On two of the match points, he saw a Federer second serve but couldn't put either ball in play.

The two played an enthralling tie-break that saw Federer erase one of those match points and witnessed Cilic save four set points. But the seven-time champion evened the contest on his serve after 20 points.

In the fifth set, Federer broke Cilic at 4-3 and served out the set and the match, ending the memorable contest with two aces.

Federer fired 27 aces and 67 winners to avenge his semi-final loss to Cilic in the semi-finals of the 2014 US Open.

At 34 years and 336 days, Federer becomes the oldest man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since Ken Rosewall (39 years, 246 days) in 1974.

Date: 6 July 2016, Source: ATP and Wimbledon

Classy Federer too good for Johnson at Wimbledon

Roger Federer marched into his 48th Grand Slam quarter-final, and his 14th at Wimbledon, with a ruthless Centre Court demolition of the No.29 seed Steve Johnson with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 victory.

The seven-time champion has been in supreme form at SW19 thus far and was at his graceful, elegant best against the outclassed American on Monday, equalling Martina Navratilova's record of 306 grand slam victories.

The American was on an eight-match winning streak coming into this match, having clinched the Nottingham title in the build-up to Wimbledon, but at 26 he has never been beyond the fourth round of a Slam.

“It wasn’t as easy as maybe it looked.,” said Federer afterwards. “He really picked up confidence in the last few weeks. I would never have thought I would go through the first four rounds in straight sets.”

Federer, watched by former coach Stefan Edberg, had never faced Johnson in a competitive match and it took a few games for the Swiss to figure out his opponent's style.

But once in full flow it was one-way traffic. Federer was able to put plenty of pressure on Johnson's backhand and soon had a break for a 4-2 lead.

The Swiss maestro then whistled a stunning forehand down the line en route to earn another break and the first set.

And it did not take long for Federer to gain the upper hand in the second set either, Johnson failing to return a lightning forehand with a volley at the net and surrendering the break.

Federer was not giving Johnson a sniff and the second was swiftly wrapped up with the 7-time Wimbledon champion making just one unforced error in the set.

There had been few fireworks from Johnson on American Independence Day, but he showed some resolve by breaking for a 3-1 lead in the third with a stinging forehand.

Johnson tamely handed the break straight back, though, and he did well to save a couple of break points when serving at 3-3.

But the writing was on the wall and a superb backhand that landed on the line, coupled with a bizarre attempt at a hotdog shot from Johnson, brought up more break points that Federer easily snaffled.

And he served out for the match to set up a last-eight tie against Marin Cilic.

Federer has a 5-1 record over Cilic but the big-server stunned the 17-time Grand Slam champion in the US Open semi-finals in 2014 on his way to his sole Grand Slam title.

“He brushed me off the court like I was nothing that day, so I’m really hoping to get him back,” promised Federer, adding with a non-sequitur of genuine sincerity: “He’s a super guy. I practised with him when I arrived here at Wimbledon. He was playing great - one-two, one-two, serving, boom, forehand, serving, boom, backhand. Very aggressive. I know what I’m getting into.

“But I’m happy about my game as well. I’ve been able to rise to the occasion to play a really good match against Johnson. I think it was by far my best match. So I’m confident.

“I'm looking forward to a tough one here,” he simply smiles. “Right now I am enjoying everything about Wimbledon.”

Date: 4 July 2016, Source: Omnisport and Wimbledon

Federer ends Willis's Wimbledon fairytale

Roger Federer predictably outclassed Marcus Willis to reach round three at Wimbledon, but the British underdog was nevertheless able to enjoy his unexpected day in the spotlight. The No. 3 seed didn’t give the pro-Willis crowd a chance to get fully involved as he convincingly prevailed, 6-0, 6-3, 6-4.

"I thought Marcus brought some unbelievable energy to the match with the crowd and his play. It was very refreshing to play someone like this," said Federer. "I knew it was going to be a different match than anything I’d ever played before at Wimbledon. It was a pleasure for me to play against him."

Federer quickly picked up on Willis’ vintage grass-court game that included plenty of slices and timely trips to the net, shutting out his opponent in the first set. Serving at 0-1 in the second set, Willis got on the board with a forehand winner and wryly raised his arms in celebration as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Although Willis began to impose himself more in the baseline rallies, Federer grabbed the lone break of the set to lead 4-2 and eventually took a commanding two-sets lead. The seven-time champion broke Willis to love at 4-4 in the third set and wrapped up the match in the next game after one hour and 24 minutes of play.

Federer was nearly flawless throughout the match, hitting nine aces and no double faults, while also striking 37 winners to 14 errors. He also enjoyed great success with his volleys, converting on 29 of 40 net points.

Willis made headlines with his transformation from teaching pro to Wimbledon competitor, but Federer halted the Grand Slam fantasies of club players across the globe with a straight-sets win. A fan favourite wherever he plays, Federer found himself in the unusual position of having the Centre Court crowd largely rooting for his opponent.

"I expected something like this, especially under the roof.  He was going to have some supporters and they were going to have chants. I felt very well prepared. I enjoyed it," said Federer. "I thought he played very well.  My approach going into the match was that I was playing a Top 50-ranked guy because that's how he is playing now.

"As I was playing, I was thinking, 'This is definitely one of the matches I'll remember'. I'll remember most of the Centre Court matches here at Wimbledon, but this one will stand out because it's that special and probably not going to happen again for me to play against a guy ranked 770 in the world. That's what stands out the most for me - the support he got, the great points he played. I enjoyed it as much as I possibly could."

Federer graciously allowed Willis to lead the way as the duo walked out to rapturous applause, and also stood back as his opponent soaked up a warm ovation after the final point.

The third seed explained: "I wanted the cooler experience for him. I thought it was cool that he got out first because it's his moment, in my opinion. I wanted him to have a great time."

With the win, Federer moves into the third round at Wimbledon for the 14th time. Next up for him is the winner of the match between No. 30 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine and Daniel Evans of Great Britain. Federer hasn't played Evans before, leads his ATP Head to Head with Dolgopolov 3-0, including a straight-sets victory in the second round of this year’s Australian Open.

Date: 29 June 2016, Source: ATP, OmniSport and Wimbledon

Federer into Wimbledon second round

Roger Federer was well short of his best as the seven-time Wimbledon champion advanced to the second round with a 7-6(5), 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Argentina's Guido Pella on Monday.

Federer never faced a break point against Pella, who is now 0-4 in tour-level grass-court matches. But Federer also struggled to break the left-hander, going one for nine on break points. Finally, at 4-3 in the third set, the third seed broke Pella and served out the set at love.

He has been plagued by injury problems this year and the world number three lacked rhythm and confidence in his opening match at this year's grass-court Grand Slam.

"I was telling myself how nice it was to be back at Centre Court. I've worked so hard since February to be ready for Wimbledon," Federer said.

"It was a fun match, it was close, maybe exactly what I needed. We'll see if I'm fully fit as I go further in the tournament, nobody knows, not even me. But I’m just happy to be here."

The World No. 3 will look to continue his march to history. Federer, who has lost to Novak Djokovic in the past two Wimbledon finals, is trying to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon crowns. The 34 year old also now has 303 Grand Slam wins, putting him three wins away from tying Martina Navratilova for the most Grand Slam wins.

Federer would become the oldest man to triumph at the All England Club in the Open era and the oldest Grand Slam champion since Ken Rosewall in 1972 if he lifts the trophy in two weeks time.

Federer's win sets up a dream second-round matchup for Brit qualifier Marcus Willis, No. 772 in the ATP Rankings. Willis had to go through pre-qualifying at Wimbledon and has had to cancel teaching lessons to continue playing at the Grand Slam.

"I think it's one of the best stories in a long time in our sport," Federer said. "This is the kind of stories we need in our sport."

"I'm really excited to play against him. It's not something that I get to do very often. It's a huge moment for him, his story his unbelievable. He was playing club tennis I heard. I'm looking forward to that."

The second-round match will be a rare first for Federer, who has played more than 1,300 tour-level matches and is making his 18th consecutive appearance at Wimbledon. The 88-time titlist has faced up-and-coming players or players with very low ATP Rankings, but never before has he faced someone who still teaches tennis to kids and adults on the side for £30 an hour.

"This match is different. It's picked up on momentum. People will hear about it. People will know about it. Naturally they're going to support him. Rightfully so, because I think it's a very cool story myself. It's going to make the match difficult," Federer said. "I saw him play today. He plays well. It's not like he couldn't play. Otherwise he wouldn't be where he is. It's going to be interesting. Plus he is serve and volleying, which I love to see. He came up with some great, great shots. To beat a guy of Berankis' caliber in straight sets shows you how tough he is."

Federer, who has served and volleyed a bit in his day, also delivered a scouting report on Willis. "A little bit more old school, using the slice, chipping the returns. Dangerous off the back. Saw some nice touch at the net,” Federer said. "First couple of days, it's tricky to play anybody here at Wimbledon. I think his game is perfectly suited for these kind of conditions right now."

Federer, who's playing in only his seventh tournament of the season because of injuries, has said he has few expectations for this Wimbledon. He, like Willis, will be hoping for a great atmosphere and a good match in the second round. "If he gets more support, that's awesome. If I get more support, that's nice," Federer said. "I hope he can play as good as he can and that I also can play a good match and everybody enjoys themselves."

Date: 27 June 2016, Source: ATP, Wimbledon and AFP