Federer cheered, advances with ease
LONDON — They roared for Roger Federer just for showing up, greeting his arrival at Wimbledon’s main stadium as if his mere presence were enough to justify the price of admission.
They clapped and yelled when Federer’s drop volley capped a 16-minute tour de force of a first set in which he won 21 of the first 23 points.
They eventually sent him back to the locker room with a standing ovation, acknowledging the talent displayed by Federer during a 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 victory over 22nd-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France in the fourth round Monday, yes, but also his superiority over the course of a career that has produced eight Wimbledon championships and 20 Grand Slam titles, both records for a man.
Federer, who has won 32 consecutive sets at the tournament and held serve 81 games in a row, was asked whether he paused for even a moment to wonder why he wasn’t being given more of a test.
“Not really,” said Federer, the No. 1 seed. “I’m telling myself, ‘Why didn’t I break the first game of the second?'”
His mastery was only the beginning of things for those who spent 120 pounds (about $160) to be at Center Court and were afforded the rare treat of watching three of the greatest to ever lift a tennis racket.
Federer was followed by Serena Williams, she of the seven Wimbledon trophies among her 23 majors, who was hardly challenged in a 6-2, 6-2 win against 120th-ranked qualifier Evgeniya Rodina of Russia. And Williams was followed by Rafael Nadal — two titles at Wimbledon, 17 at all Slams — who dispatched 93rd-ranked Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
The only other Wimbledon champion left in either bracket, Novak Djokovic, beat 40th-ranked Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 on No. 1 Court, then said he’d like to get as much time on Centre Court as Federer and Nadal do.
The women’s quarterfinals are Tuesday, with Williams vs. Camila Giorgi, two-time major champion Angelique Kerber vs. No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko vs. Dominika Cibulkova, and No. 13 Julia Goerges vs. No. 20 Kiki Bertens.