Federer back with a flourish

Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:29pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

LONDON (Reuters) - They walked on to Court One as fellow 32-year-olds, but that's where the similarity between Roger Federer and Paolo Lorenzi ended as the Swiss began his pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title with a 6-1 6-1 6-3 romp on Tuesday.

A year after leaving the All England Club as a shell-shocked second-round loser, Federer was back to his sublime best as he teased and tormented Italian Lorenzi with a heady mix of laser-sighted serves and venomous volleys.

The exhibition certainly won the approval of his coach Stefan Edberg, who whipped off his sunglasses soon after the start to get a better look at the elegant winners flowing off Federer's racket.

After squandering five match points on the Lorenzi serve, the fourth seed finished it off with his ninth ace to set up a second-round meeting with either Frenchman Julien Benneteau or Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.

The result earned Lorenzi the dubious distinction of never having won a grand slam match in 13 attempts.

But if Lorenzi thought his conqueror would spare him a shred of sympathy, he was left disappointed on that front, too.

"I did not know about his record to be honest ... but as for feeling sorry (for him) ... I've put in my share of hard work and you feel like you deserve it, always," grinned the 17-time grand slam champion, who boasts a 269-43 win-loss record at the majors.

"I'm here to win the tournament," he added.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return to Paolo Lorenzi of Italy during their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 24, 2014.          REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth