Tennis

Preview: Roger Federer’s Familiar Foe, Medvedev Meets Alcaraz At Wimbledon | ATP Tour

Roger Federer’s first match at Wimbledon wasn’t quite the triumphant return he might have expected, but the eight-time champion is ready to keep things rolling at the All England Club as he takes on a familiar foe in the second round. Second seed Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and #NextGenATP Carlos Alcaraz will also be in action on Day 4 at The Championships. 

Sixth seed Federer had a battle on his hands in his first match on Centre Court since the 2019 final (l. to Djokovic). He had to fight through Adrian Mannarino, who led by two sets to one. Just as Federer was finding his feet in the fourth, the Frenchman slipped behind the baseline and was eventually unable to continue. 

“I think I was maybe turning things around a little bit [in the fourth set],” Federer reflected afterwards. “I would have been interested to see if I got through that fourth set normally. I was going to be able to change my game, the points, the way they were created nicely. That would have given me options going into the fifth. Then again, who knows.” 

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Federer will be hoping for a more straightforward victory as he faces Richard Gasquet in the second round. The pair have met 20 times in their ATP Head2Head, with Federer owning a confidence-boosting 18-2 edge (3-0 on grass courts) over the Frenchman. But that doesn’t mean that Gasquet will be rolling over in their next match.

“I’m playing for this. When I was in the first round, I saw the draw. I knew I could play Roger in the second round,” Gasquet told ATPTour.com. “Of course it’s wonderful for me, because I will play on Centre Court. It’s Roger Federer. I’ve played him many times. I’m practising for this.”

It’s been 10 years since Gasquet has taken a set off Federer, but the Swiss player won’t be taking anything for granted as he continues his comeback after a snakebitten and abbreviated 2020 season.

Over on No. 1 Court, second seed Medvedev will aim to continue his newfound success on grass courts as he faces #NextGenATP Carlos Alcaraz for the first time.

The Russian has made a habit of pushing himself out of his comfort zone this year, finding a way to claim wins on surfaces where victories have previously eluded him. He entered the clay-court swing without a victory to his name in Madrid, Rome and Paris, and he walked away a first-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist.

Could he do the same on grass, one of his favourite surfaces? The signs are there: after shaking off a first-round defeat in Halle, Medvedev rallied at the Mallorca Championships to claim his 11th ATP Tour title – his first trophy away from hard courts.

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“Four years ago, I would say that [grass] was my favourite surface. But after my results on hard courts I couldn’t say anything else other than hard courts, and I still like playing on hard courts more,” Medvedev said after his win in Mallorca. “It was important for me to get these things like titles going, because we don’t have a lot of tournaments [on this surface]… It gives you a lot of confidence.”

Medvedev will try to reach the third round at Wimbledon – equalling his best result – for the third year in a row as he takes on tournament debutant Alcaraz. The 18-year-old Spaniard, who received a wild card into the main draw, impressed with his first tour-level win on grass when he defeated Yasutaka Uchiyama in five sets.

“I really like [grass], I feel comfortable playing here. I could not play any tournaments on grass before Wimbledon, but every day I feel more comfortable,” Alcaraz said after the victory. “I am improving to stay calm in the tough moments and play at the same level. I played really well, and I am excited to play against [Daniil] Medvedev in the second round.”

Elsewhere at the All England Club, fourth seed Alexander Zverev will face Tennys Sandren on No. 2 Court as he seeks to improve his record at Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam where he has yet to advance past the fourth round. Matteo Berrettini, the seventh seed and cinch Championships winner, will also be in action as he takes on Botic Van de Zandschulp on No. 3 Court. 

Nick Kyrgios delighted fans with a dramatic five-set victory over Ugo Humbert in his first match outside of Australia since 2020. He will hope to keep the momentum going as he faces Italian Gianluca Mager on No. 3 Court.

Click Here To View Full Day 4 Order Of Play.

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