Federer in cruise mode, but Kerber crashes out of Wimbledon
Eight-time champion Roger Federer eased into the third round of Wimbledon on Thursday while women’s champion Angelique Kerber’s defence of her title came to an early end after being knocked out in the second round by Lauren Davis 2-6 6-2 6-1.
The 31-year-old German, who came into the tournament in form having reached the final at Eastbourne, made her earliest exit since losing in the same round in 2013.
“This means everything as it is what I work for,” said Davis. “I was a bit nervous and I slid and hurt my foot in the first set.
“I am so happy to win, it is almost surreal.”
Federer beat British wild card Jay Clarke 6-1 7-6 (7/3) 6-2 to equal American legend Jimmy Connors’s record of 17 appearances in the last 32.
“I struggled to take care of business a bit from the baseline,” said 37-year-old Federer who reached the third round at the Slams for the 70th time.
“Thankfully I played a pretty good breaker, I had some help from him as he gave me a couple of unforced errors.”
Federer and Nadal’s half of the draw lost two of the potentially more awkward customers in big serving duo John Isner and Marin Cilic.
Ninth-seeded Isner, who played in the epic semifinal in 2018 with Kevin Anderson which lasted over six hours, fell in five sets to unseeded Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 4-6 6-1 6-4 in just over three hours. Cilic, the 13th seed and finalist in 2017, lost in straight sets to Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4 6-4 6-4.
In the women’s section Ashleigh Barty’s bid to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year stayed on track with a 6-1 6-3 second round victory over Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck.
The 23-year-old Australian world No 1 will play British wild card Harriet Dart for a place in the last 16.
Barty said she would not be concerned by taking on a home hope in front of a partisan crowd. “I wouldn’t be playing a British crowd; I’m playing against Harriet,” said Barty.
“Yes, she’ll get more support being in Britain, as I would if we were in Australia. It’s no different.”
Barty, only the second Australian woman after Evonne Goolagong Cawley over 40 years ago to be No 1 in the world, said the most pleasure she has had in her new status is when she speaks to her niece back in Australia.
“Over and over she tells me you can go to infinity and beyond,” said Barty. “She’s an incredible little girl who gives me so much inspiration.
“It’s been a very nice journey for myself, my team, my family, everyone. To be where we are now is really special.”
Barty, who if she achieves the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double will be only the eighth woman to do so, said she would be watching the cricket on Thursday afternoon, referring to the second Ashes match between England’s women and Australia.