Roger Federer faces a Frenchman for the second match running at Wimbledon on Thursday, taking on a familiar face in Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman is one of ten players to have faced Federer at least twenty times with only Nikolay Davydenko having a worse win percentage in this matchup than 10% (2-18).
Gasquet had retired a couple of weeks back in his most recent grass court matchup, cutting his Nottingham quarter final short. Two weeks on, he secured a fairly comfortable four set win over Yuichi Sugita to make it past the first round of Wimbledon for the first time in four attempts. The 35 year-old does have two semi finals at SW19, losing to the top seed and eventual champion both in 2007 and 2015.
Federer had a bit of fortune in his opener, where he and Adrian Mannarino split four sets before Mannarino would have to retire due to the impact of an earlier slip on his knee. “He could have won the match at the end. He was the better player. I definitely got a bit lucky but who cares about that – I wish him all the best.” Federer said afterwards.
While Mannarino caused Federer trouble for large parts, an opponent with a lot of similarities to Federer should be a much more comfortable matchup for the sixth seed as their previous meetings suggest. Gasquet is a shadow of his former self and on grass, doesn’t look too much of a threat right now. There is plenty for Federer to worry about as the draw goes on but it feels like Gasquet shouldn’t be one of those players.
Prediction – Roger Federer in four sets