By Niall Clarke
- Roger Federer defeats Marcus Willis 6-0, 6-3, 6-4
- The Swiss moves on to the third round
- Willis receives standing ovation from the centre court crowd
LONDON, ENGLAND – The Wimbledon journey of Marcus Willis is over after the British qualifier suffered a straight sets defeat to Roger Federer.
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The World No. 772 put on a good showing in his first centre court outing, but was outclassed by the seven time champion 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 27 minutes.
Willis had come through two qualifying stages to make the main draw where he defeated Ricardas Berankis in straight sets in the opening round to set up this dream clash with Federer. From almost quitting tennis at the start of the year, Willis now found himself in a dream scenario as he stepped on to Centre Court for the first time to a standing ovation.
The magnitude of the man that stood in front of him immediately took effect as Willis was forced to face break points in his opening service game. The Brit was able to save the first three but the fourth proved a bridge too far.
It was a circus-like atmosphere on centre court which was epitomised in the following game where Willis recovered from a slip to hit a lob winner that even had Federer smiling. Willis’ personality proved to be a hit with the Centre Court audience. The Brit earned break point in the following game which was saved by the Swiss. Unfortunately Federer earned another break as any chance of a contest were slipping further away. The Swiss capped off the first set 6-0 with another break.
His first game was met with a thunderous applause as he held in the second game of the second set. However Federer would eventually break through at 3-2 and go on to see out the set 6-3.
With some games under his belt Willis settled into the match and earned break point at 3-2 in the third. Federer saved it with a smash and held to level the set 3-3. Willis played arguably his best game of the match to hold for 4-3, but his next service game was met with a break to love.
Federer would successfully serve the match out to end the Wimbledon dream of Willis. But the man from Slough will look back at his time on centre court against the 17 time grand slam champion with much fondness.
It was fun while it lasted and a great experience for Willis who equipped himself well after the first set. It is the end of his Wimbledon story, but we hope he can push on and climb up the ATP world rankings.
Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic came through Adrian Mannarino in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5). The defending champion served for the match in the third set, but his French opponent fought back to earn a tiebreak. Djokovic would go on to take the breaker 7-5.
There were also wins for Dominic Thiem, Tomas Berdych and Bernard Tomic who had their matches delayed due to the rain yesterday. Dan Evans’ match with Alexandr Dolgopolov is currently suspended at 6-6 in the first set due to the rain. The winner of that will face Federer in the third round.
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