Entering the Wimbledon Championships, the Swiss Maestro Roger Federer has many reasons to be excited. As a result of losing in the final of Halle in three sets to Croatian youngster Borna Ćoric, Federer enters Wimbledon the #2 player in the world.
He briefly overtook his Spanish rival Rafael Nadal to claim the #1 spot when he beat Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets at the Stuttgart Open a couple weeks ago.
Now, Federer enters Wimbledon, a tournament that he has won a record eight times, in a familiar spot as the top seed, due to Wimbledon’s seeding formula for them men. Lucky for him, his draw to get his ninth title looks incredibly advantageous, without too many potential roadblocks. Let’s take a closer look.
First Three Wimbledon Matches No Surprises for Federer
The #1 seed will have the benefit of starting the tournament with Serbian Dušan Lajović. Currently ranked 57th in the world, he has a 2-4 record on the grass courts for his career. This bodes well for Federer, who should win his first round match in straight sets.
A potential second-round matchup will be against Slovakian Lukas Lacko. Federer has a 2-0 record against him; they have never met on grass and the last time they played against each other was at the 2014 French Open, when the Swiss beat him in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
The only seeded player that the Swiss could face in the first three matches is 32nd seed Argentine Leonardo Mayer. He has two career titles and the farthest he has gone at Wimbledon is the Round of 16 in 2014. With a 2-0 record against Mayer, expect Federer to dominate and advance to the Round of 16.
A Few Potential Challenges in the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals
Federer’s tournament will get interesting when Manic Monday approaches. He is on a collision course to meet Borna Ćoric in the Round of 16, the same player who beat him at Halle 7-6, 3-6, 6-2. With a first serve percentage of 74% and winning 67% of his service points, Ćoric outlasted Federer with a masterful display of powerful groundstrokes and a variety of shots.
“I love the crowds, I love all the fans, I don’t mind if they are for me, they are not for me, really, it’s their choice,” said Ćoric after the match. “But I love it when there’s a big hype on the court. It makes me want to play better. It makes me more excited and when I’m more excited I play better. So, I just really loved it today.”
Federer is at Wimbledon, where he has never lost in the Round of 16. So if he meets with his Croatian foe, expect the Swiss maestro to utilize his serve, groundstrokes, and experience to defeat the youngster.
In the quarterfinals, likely opponents for Federer include American Sam Querrey, who made the semifinals of Wimbledon last year, Kevin Anderson, the South African who dictates points with his powerful serve (and reached the US Open final in 2017), or journeyman German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who always is a threat on the grass courts.
While these players can make their potential match against Federer interesting, Roger’s arsenal of weapons on grass will make him prevail and reach the semi-finals.
Australian Open Final Rematch Probably in Semifinals
Assuming there are no upsets, Federer will meet another Croatian in the semi-finals. He is the third-seeded Marin Cilic, who has had a fantastic season thus far. He recently beat Novak Djokovic in three sets to claim the Queen’s Club Championships, demonstrating his ability to be a threat on the grass courts.
This potential matchup would be a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon final when Federer coasted to a straight-sets victory over a Cilic that was both injured and feeling the pressure of the moment. These two met again at the Australian Open final earlier this year, where Federer survived a five-set thriller over the Croatian.
No doubt a Federer and Cilic semifinal tilt would produce exciting points and marvellous shot making. The last time Roger lost in the semi-finals of Wimbledon was against Canadian Milos Raonic. But with a 9-1 record over Cilic, Federer clearly has the mental edge over the Croatian. Unless Cilic has a perfect day serving and hitting his groundstrokes that make Federer cover the width of the court, I see the Swiss superstar surviving and advancing to his second consecutive Wimbledon Final.
Overall, this is a draw that Federer will be pleased with. He avoids having to face off against his Serbian foe Novak Djokovic or dealing with Andy Murray and the British crowd.
If Federer can serve over 50% and use the facets of his game on the grass courts to his advantage, he will once again be a representative in the Wimbledon final. And for tennis fans, the chance to see a Federer and Nadal final (exactly ten years after their all-time classic) is too good to deny.