Mike Egerton Federer in action on Centre Court.
# Wimbledon
Federer recovers from opening set stumble to book second round spot
Lloyd Harris looked like he could cause an upset on Centre Court, but Federer denied the 22-year-old South Africa in four sets.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 2nd 2019, 5:05 PM

EIGHT-TIME CHAMPION Roger Federer reached the Wimbledon second round for a 17th successive year on Tuesday afternoon, overcoming a first set blip to beat South Africa’s Lloyd Harris.

Federer, 37 and bidding to become the oldest Grand Slam champion, claimed a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over the 86th-ranked Harris who was making his Wimbledon debut.

Harris’s challenge was eventually compromised by needing treatment on a left calf strain.

“I struggled early on, my legs were frozen and the ball was not going where I wanted it to,” said Federer.

“He was hitting big and things were going quickly. I was nervous for a set and a half.

“So it took a good effort from me. Lloyd played a good match.”

Second seed Federer, who now has 96 wins at the tournament, will face either British wildcard Jay Clarke or American qualifier Noah Rubin for a place in the last 32.

Meanwhile, French Open finalist Dominic Thiem was humbled as he crashed out at the first hurdle against Sam Querrey.

Thiem has finished runner-up at Roland Garros in each of the last two years but his record at the All England Club is far less impressive and he bowed out 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 6-0 earlier.

The fifth seed also departed Wimbledon in the first round 12 months ago and has just a sole ATP Tour title on grass: the Stuttgart Open in 2016. 

In the women’s singles, world number one Ashleigh Barty and defending champion Angelique Kerber eased into the second round.

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Two - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Adam Davy Barty booked her place in the second round. Adam Davy

Unlike second seed Naomi Osaka on Monday, who exited in straight sets, both Barty and Kerber disposed of their opponents with relative ease.

Barty beat China’s Zheng Saisai 6-4, 6-2 while Kerber, the fourth seed, beat fellow German Tatjana Maria 6-4, 6-3.

Barty did not have it all her own way in the first set being pegged back to 4-4 after leading 3-0.

Barty finally took the set in breaking Zheng on her serve at 5-4.

The Australian made the break on Zheng’s first service game in the second set and was rarely troubled after that.

“The first round is always very tough and it took a little time to get used to the court,” said Barty.

“It definitely took some time to adjust.”

Barty, who is bidding to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win both the French Open and Wimbledon in the same season, said the weight of being number one did not affect her particularly.

“It is a bizarre feeling to be honest but I try and go about my business as usual,” she said.

Wimbledon 2019 - Day Two - The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Mike Egerton Kerber in action on Centre Court. Mike Egerton

Barty plays tricky Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, who knocked out then defending champion Garbine Muguruza last year in the second round, for a place in the last 32.

“It will be an exceptional challenge and it will be important for me to be strong on my serve,” she said.

Kerber, who came into the tournament on the back of being the beaten finalist at Eastbourne last Saturday, looked to be cruising to victory when she broke Maria in the first game of the second set.

However, her compatriot fought back to break her in the next game after a long tussle which saw Kerber get increasingly annoyed by her errors.

Kerber, though, again broke in the following game a sweeping forehand crosscourt provoking her to a double fist shake and a yell of delight.

There were further breaks of serve but in the end Kerber came through safely.

© – AFP 2019 

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