Roger that! Federer stays on track at Wimbledon

Mon Jul 4, 2016 12:19pm EDT
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By Ossian Shine

LONDON (Reuters) - As the green tarpaulin covers were pulled back from Wimbledon's grass courts on Monday morning, and straw-hatted stewards prepared to police the snaking queues, a growing number of informed observers were contemplating a July 4 fairytale.

Burly Californian Steve Johnson is the real deal, they said. Roger Federer is there for the taking; he's "undercooked", past his best. Johnson, on the other hand, has won eight straight grasscourt games, including his first title, in Nottingham.

This had all the makings of an Independence Day upset at the All England Club.

Oh, how soon we dismiss our champions.

Federer, a player so great and so rare he rewrites history books one way or another most times he steps on court these days, clearly pays no heed.

On a blustery Centre Court he conceded 10 games in dispatching the danger man 6-2 6-3 7-5 to reach his 14th Wimbledon quarter-final – a professional era record he now shares with Jimmy Connors.

Whatever some experts say, a clinical straight sets victory kept Federer on track to become the only man to win eight Wimbledon singles crowns.

So while Andy Murray-supporting Brits have been rubbing their hands with glee following Novak Djokovic’s shock third-round defeat, the biggest beneficiary of the Serb’s removal may be Federer, who is yet to lose a set at Wimbledon this year.   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 4/7/16 Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates winning his match against USA's Steve Johnson REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge