Roger Federer and Marin Cilic, Last Year’s Finalists Advance Easily at Wimbledon, Stan Wawrinka Upsets No. 6 Seed Grigor Dimitrov
(July 2, 2018) Donning his new Uniqlo apparel, defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer began his quests for a ninth title at the All-England Club with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 win over world No. 58 Dusan Lajovic of Serbia on Centre Court on the first day of the “The Championships,” 2018 edition.
The 36-year-old Swiss, owner of 20 major titles never faced a break point in his 79-minute victory. Federer for the first time in his career wore an outfit other than Nike. He signed a 10-year agreement with Uniqlo.
“I’m happy to be back at Wimbledon,” Federer said in his new conference. “I was really able to enjoy the match out there because I got off to a good start. When you get off to a good start in set one and two, you’re able to just enjoy the moment more than when you’re struggling early on, especially at the tournament like I explained yesterday. There is always pressure and nerves when you go into a first round.
“Also I was excited to wear Uniqlo today. I must tell you, it’s been a long time coming. I felt very good out there. It’s also crucial to play well, so it was helpful.”
“The RF logo is with Nike at the moment, but it will come to me at some point. I hope rather sooner than later, that Nike can be nice and helpful in the process to bring it over to me. It’s also something that was very important for me, for the fans really.
“Look, it’s the process. But the good news is that it will come with me at one point. They are my initials. They are mine. The good thing is it’s not theirs forever. In a short period of time, it will come to me.
“Obviously we also need to figure out with Uniqlo when at one point we can start selling clothes for the public as well. All this has just gotten underway. We’re hopeful the beginning of next year people can also start buying my stuff. For the moment, as fast at retailing as they are, as great as they are, it just needs a bit of time.”
Last year’s runner-up No. 3 seed Marin Cilic dominated with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka in 1 hour, 46 minutes.
“I’m looking at last year’s experience as a positive one and the one that I can learn from especially in my psychological approach to the match,” said Cilic. “Fortunately I was not able to be 100% level so I was not able to also test myself how would I play in the match.
“But psychologically I felt the atmosphere, I felt the pressure, as well. I felt like I was dealing with it really, really nicely, and it gave me great confidence for this year coming back on grass, and I feel it can give me slight edge and experience if I’m going to be coming in later stage to the tournament.
“I feel this year it’s more looking at it as another opportunity to play well. I’m in great form, playing great tennis. Hopefully I can deliver here again. I’m not looking at last year that I would have some kind of a revenge. I’m feeling that it’s another opportunity and that I have another chance to go really, really far.”
Stan Wawrinka has his first Top Ten win at a major since 2016 when the Swiss now ranked 224th in the world, beat No. 6 Grigor Dimitrov on Monday 1-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4.
Wawrinka had been off the tour the last half of 2017 due to knee surgery, and again took a break at the end of February.
“For sure I know it will be a tough match, especially against Grigor,” Wawrinka said. “Really not the player I like to play. If you look the result last few years against him on clay, on hard.
“I didn’t like came into the court thinking, I’m going to win. But I came like, Okay, I’m going to try my best, for sure, fight as well as I can, try to make it happen.”
“So to come back today, to play Grigor, to have that match support, a great atmosphere from the first second to the end of the match was something amazing to feel that in my career.”
“I think mentally was the toughest part today,” he added. “That’s where I’m the most tired, for sure. Then it doesn’t help for your body, that’s for sure. After the match, everything goes out a little bit.
“I will see tomorrow how I feel. Normally, and I hope I should be okay, completely fine for my next match in two days. I’ve been practicing so hard to expect to be okay in two days. That’s for sure. I know what I’ve done on the practice court, on the fitness on the court. I should be fine.”
“I know where I come from with my injury, I know all the work I’ve been doing. It’s because I’m still really motivated to play any player, any court. For sure, it’s the best other player to play on Centre Court, like today was amazing atmosphere. In the same times, if I have to play on Court 15, 16, I don’t mind. I’m really happy to be here.”
Wawrinka’s girlfriend, Donna Vekic also won earlier on Monday, upsetting No. 4 seed Sloane Stephens. “I think it was a good day for us at the office, that’s for sure,” said the former No. 3. “Was great match from her. I watch it from home before coming back for my match.
“For sure it was a big win for her. She’s playing well on grass. It’s been good for us today.”
“I did everything I could to put myself in that (winning) position,” Dimitrov said. “I worked throughout the whole week so good. It’s just a shame, simple as that.
“I don’t know. First set, great first set. Even in the second, like, I felt good in the tiebreak. Just a few easy unforced errors. Yeah, at times my feet were not on the right place when I was hitting the ball. I was losing those very important points. I think that was the difference.
“Of course, Stan played well. He fought very hard. He deserved way more to win today than me.”
“To be out of the radar, it’s not neither what you want,” said Wawrinka. “When I was No. 3 in the world, No. 4 in the world, I was happy. I was playing well. I was going fine, big tournaments. That’s what I want to do again.
“But I will see how far I can go in the next few years, and I will give everything to be back at my top.”
Borna Coric, the 16th seed, who defeated Federer in the final of the Halle tournament less than two weeks ago lost to on Monday to Daniel Medvedev in straight sets. Another seed also losing on Monday was 32nd seed Leonardo Mayer
Other men’s seeds advancing 9th seed John Isner, 11th seed Sam Querrey, 13th seed Milos Raonic, and 17th seed Lucas Pouille.
More to follow….