Roger Federer fights back to beat Wimbledon debutant Harris
Roger Federer kicked off his 2019 Wimbledon campaign on Centre Court as he came from a set down to beat South African Lloyd George Harris 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-2.
RogerFederer is bidding to become the first ever man in the Open Era to win five grand slam titles after turning 30. Harris, who on the other hand has only reached the top 100 this year, was playing his first ever Wimbledon match.
Despite not having won a professional match on grass, losing in the first qualifying rounds of both Halle and Eastbourne last month, Harris looked unfazed in the opening exchanges.
A series of uncharacteristic forehand errors from Federer handed his 22 year old opponent a break of serve and a 4-2 lead in the first set. Harris did not let the pressure of playing the 8 time Wimbledon champion get to him and served the set out to win it 6-3.
In terms of ranking, Harris’ best win this year came against Australian teenager Alexei Popyrin during qualifying for the Miami Masters, who was ranked 119th at the time. Therefore a win against world number three Roger Federer would have been a huge achievement in comparison.
Federer found rhythm and broke Harris early on in the second set to take a 3-1 lead.
Some trademark Federer dominance at the net secured a double break and the set 6-1. Harris’ first serve points won percentage had dropped from 78% in the first set to 33% in the second.
The third set was also plain-sailing for the Swiss maestro, with a smash winner getting him the first break, and a weak backhand into the net from Harris gave Federer a second break to take the third set 6-2.
The last time Federer suffered a first round defeat in a Grand Slam was a staggering 16 years ago in the 2003 French Open when he lost in straight sets to Luis Horna of Peru. Federer showed no willingness to break this streak today as he ran a near repeat of the previous set and took the fourth and the match 6-2.
Next up for Federer will be British young-gun Jay Clarke who overcame American Noah Rubin in four sets today.
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