Wimbledon 2014: Strong start from Roger Federer, but tougher tests await

Some are talking of the Swiss claiming his eighth Wimbledon title this year

Wimbledon

Roger Federer wins in straight sets, needing just 93 minutes to see off Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi, and there is talk of the former world No 1 being back to his best. We shall see. While nobody would dispute that Federer was in top form against the world No 83, it will take more than a victory against an opponent who has lost all 13 matches he has played in Grand Slam tournaments to sway those who suspect that the seven-times Wimbledon champion will never climb this particular peak again.

Federer’s Grand Slam tournaments follow a similar pattern these days, if you discount his stunning defeat at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round here last year. He usually has little trouble disposing of the game’s journeymen in the early stages, but when it comes to the crunch in the second week it is a different matter.

Since claiming the 2010 Australian Open Federer has won just one of the 17 Grand Slam tournaments in which he has competed. His victory in the 2012 Wimbledon tournament was a reminder of past glories, but it did not reverse the trend in his career.

The 32-year-old Swiss lost to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open, but consider some of the other players who have beaten him in recent Grand Slam tournaments: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ernests Gulbis at the last two French Opens, Stakhovsky at last year’s Wimbledon, Tommy Robredo at the 2013 US Open.

 

Like every other player, Federer does not spend too much time looking ahead in the draw. If he did, he would see that the likes of Jerzy Janowicz, Stanislas Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal could stand in the way of what would be his ninth appearance in the final here. If he is playing in the final on Sunday week it would be one of his greatest feats.

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