Ten years after his first Wimbledon championship, Roger Federer began his bid for a record eighth title at the All England Club on Monday with the same dominance that has defined his grass-court greatness.
Opening the tournament on Centre Court as defending champion, Federer looked right as home as he dismantled Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 in just 68 minutes.
This was a grass-court clinic from Federer, who had 32 winners, seven aces and just six unforced errors. He won 90 per cent of the points when he put his first serve in.
When his serve is clicking, Federer usually is unbeatable. On this day, he won his first 15 service points and 24 out of the first 25.
Last year, Federer equaled Pete Sampras and William Renshaw with seven Wimbledon titles. He is now contending to become the first man to win the tournament eight times, which would bring his total of Grand
“It’s slightly different,” Federer said. “Nine years ago when I came out the first time, it was the most special thing in the world. It still feels amazing. It was an absolute pleasure playing on Centre Court.”
Federer came out wearing a white collared jacket with orange trim, then quickly got down to business. He never faced a break point and broke six times.
Federer has a habit of making things look easy. And so it was in the opening game when, stranded at the net, he reached behind him for a reflex forehand volley that landed in for a winner. In the third set, Federer lifted a perfect backhand lob over Hanescu for a break and a 5-0 lead.