In what could be his last Wimbledon, Roger Federer will make one more attempt at regaining the lead in total grand slams. The most likely outcome this fortnight remains a Djokovic victory but Federer still seems the most likely option for the title if something goes wrong for the current World No.1. The 39 year-old will open against Adrian Mannarino, who has shown himself to be a handy grass court player in previous years.
Mannarino’s best performances in slams all came at Wimbledon with his three fourth round runs unmatched elsewhere. His preparation on the grass has been fairly successful with a Mallorca semi final, although a retirement win against Dominic Thiem is partly to thank for that.
Federer remains one of the best players on grass but the last five years has shown he doesn’t quite have the invincible aura he once did. He once again lost in Halle with Felix Auger-Aliassime taking a surprise win this time round in three sets. “There are ways to lose, and a standard I set for myself about how I go about things. It reminds me of the junior times in the beginning of my career, where all of a sudden you just don’t see the positivity any more. I don’t know what it was, to be honest.” he said after, quite disappointed by the lost.
“I’m actually here at Wimbledon right now and I have a chance. I know if I get rolling, I get into that second week – which is the goal here right now – that I get stronger and stronger as every match goes by, I believe it’s very much possible. I come here feeling mentally strong.” he added. Federer’s goal being to reach the second week comes as somewhat of a surprise but as he grows into the tournament, it should give a better indication of whether he has any chance of upsetting Novak Djokovic at the end of the tournament. Federer does have a 6-0 record against Mannarino, including two straight sets wins at this tournament and 2011 and 2018.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets