- Wimbledon, Day One
Federer glides serenely into second round
Roger Federer looked instantly at home on his return to the grass of Centre Court on Monday, as he opened Wimbledon's show court action for another year with a serene victory over the virtually defenseless Victor Hanescu.
Federer, the reigning champion at the All England Club, was greeted with customary warmth by the crowds when he entered the arena ahead of his 1pm match, and proceeded to give them a clinic in controlled, effortless tennis.
Hanescu is physically imposing but he never wrestled even something approaching a foothold in the match, falling 6-3 6-2 6-0 in a contest that was perhaps even more one-sided then that scoreline suggests.
"It still feels amazing," Federer said, when asked about his latest venture on Centre Court. "It's different [to when I first started] but I still enjoy myself out there."
Federer came out light on his feet and seemingly comfortable in his rhythm, finding a penetrating range on serve as Hanescu struggled to put any pressure on him. Indeed, the Romanian was somewhat overwhelmed in the first set - winning just two points on Federer's serve.
The ease with which Federer was holding allowed him to apply some sustained pressure to Hanescu's own delivery, always looking for the additional break after going 3-0 ahead in the early stages. Hanescu - using all of his six-foot six frame - caused the Swiss difficulties with some of his offerings, but Federer seemed to be playing somewhat within himself as he romped to the opening stanza in 24 minutes on the back of that first break.
The second set proved more of the same, although Hanescu did at least threaten a break as he took Federer to deuce in one middle service game, squandering that chance with two high-risk groundstrokes that were perhaps still the right shots in the circumstances.
That moment apart Federer seemed to be moving his opponent around the court at will, time and again finishing with easy put-aways at the net as he duly moved within a set of victory.
The third set began with another break for the seven-time champion at the All England Club, crushing Hanescu's remaining spirit and allowing him to pull back on the throttle even more as the finish line loomed into view. Perhaps never into second gear, let alone third; the world No. 3 duly finished off a match that ultimately cost him barely an hour of his time.
"I'm very happy. I don't know how much better I could have played," Federer added. "In swirly conditions, I'm happy to get out there and win. It releases some pressure."
Elsewhere in Monday's early action, there was a comfortable victory for 25th seed Benoit Paire - although 30th seed Fabio Fognini was the first notable departee, after falling in four sets to Jurgen Melzer.