Roger Federer will be hoping for a bit more of a workout on Thursday in his second round clash on Centre Court. His opener was cut short due to retirement although given Dusan Lajovic is not much of a threat on the grass, he may not spend a great deal of time on court Thursday either.
It’s fair to say that what happens in week 1 will have little impact on Federer’s chances of winning No.19 unless he were to injure himself. His first match ended after 43 minutes, with Alexandr Dolgopolov calling it a day due to injury down 3-6 0-3. It meant that the on court action was not the focus of attention that day but that two matches on the biggest court at Wimbledon ended due to players taking to the court, far from match fit. Although playing a clearly injured opponent, Federer did look in good nick – serving 10 aces through 6 service games.
The benefits of scheduling for Federer have put him in a place where he can tailor his season to peak for the biggest tournaments. “I just think for me to have this sort of really, like, big distance to actually playing matches and understanding that I won’t be around for a long time, really put me in a place where I could really relax and do other things, not think about tennis day-to-day.” he commented afterwards. A Halle title put him in good stead here while not overplaying or overexertion having the chance to become an issue as the fortnight goes on.
Lajovic is 2-1 on the grass this year, adding to his Chardy win at Eastbourne with a R1 win against Stefanos Tsitipas here. The Greek youngster has not been hyped to the extent of many of the other NextGen players but still it was a good victory, especially the nature of which it happened. He won 6-4 6-4 6-4 and was not broken once, saving all 5 break points faced. He won’t have much chance of beating Federer but all suggestions are that he will at least finish the match, something that the Centre Court crowd will not have to worry about on Thursday.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets