• Tennis

Federer crushes Lorenzi but Nadal far from his best

ESPN staff
June 24, 2014
Roger Federer was rarely troubled by his Italian opponent © PA Photos

Roger Federer crushed Paolo Lorenzi to reach the second round at Wimbledon alongside Rafael Nadal, but the Spaniard was far from his best despite recording his 700th career victory in his first round clash with Martin Klizin.

Federer's match was only ever going to go one way: he has won 17 grand slam titles; Lorenzi is yet to win a grand slam match.

Indeed, Lorenzo has never even won a tour event in 11 years as a professional, with a runner-up finish at this season's Brazil Open his best showing to date.

That performance may have moved the Italian up to a career-high world No.81, but the gulf in class was clear for all to see as Federer cruised to a 6-1 6-1 6-3 victory on No.1 Court in just 93 minutes.

"Getting the first one out of the way is always a good feeling," said Federer. "I thought I played well, got a lot of breaks and served well.

"Walking down the tunnel I felt relaxed and happy to go on court but once you step out there you are ready and you do feel some pressure.

"I didn't know about [Lorenzi's] record beforehand. I thought he did a good job by trying to serve and volley and make the plays but he maybe doesn't have a strong enough serve to do that."

Federer rarely moved out of second gear and, such is the popularity of Federer in these parts of the world, the crowd starting cheering on Lorenzi in the third set just to squeeze every minute they could out of their favourite player.

Lorenzi clung on in the third, rescuing five match points - each one greeted with a roar that will have reverberated around south-west London. In the end, it just delayed the inevitable as Federer took his sixth match point with an ace.

Federer, who exited in the second round of Wimbledon last year, will face either Gilles Muller or Julien Benneteau. The Swiss will be more wary of world No.46 Benneteau, who has beaten him twice, including the quarter-finals in Rotterdam last year.

Rafael Nadal was not at his best against Martin Klizin © PA Photos

Nadal was far less fluent than his Swiss counterpart, but at this stage of the week it is all about getting through unscathed. The second seed overcame the challenge of Klizan with a 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory, the 700th professional win of his career, to advance.

Klizan silenced the Centre crowd by claiming the first set as Nadal began to get frustrated in the SW19 heat. However, key breaks allowed him to claim the second before Klizan fell apart in set three.

Needing one set for victory, Nadal cruised into a 4-1 lead in the fourth but Klizan fought back to put the pressure on at 4-3. However, Nadal broke again after Klizan's drop shot effort fell foul of the tramlines and, despite a brief scare at deuce, Nadal served out for victory.

He will now face the man who beat him at the second round stage in 2012. Lukas Rosol booked a clash with Nadal after a 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 victory against Benoit Paire on Court No.5.

Nadal told the BBC after his 700th win: "It means I have had a very long and successful career and I am so happy for that. These matches are always so dangerous.

"I really know it is impossible to play my best in the first round. For sure the next round will be tough. The last three years I did not play much on grass and that affects your rhythm and confidence.

"Lukas Rosol is a very dangerous player. Very strong and powerful. I will have to play very well if I am to win."

In earlier results on Tuesday, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka was also a staight-sets winner, bludgeoning his way past Joao Sousa 6-3 6-4 6-3.

Wawrinka has a poor record on grass, going out in the first round in three of the last four years at SW19. But the Swiss showed little sign of weakness on the surface as he hit 18 aces to blast his way through to the second round.

Joining him will be former semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who finally completed his opening match against the veteran Jurgen Melzer to go through 6-1 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Tsonga had been leading 5-4 in the final set when play was halted on Monday evening. The Frenchman needed just four points on his own serve to claim victory, sealing the win with his 20th ace of the match.

The highly-rated Kei Nishikori went through in straight sets with a 6-4 7-6(5) 7-5 victory over Kenny de Schepper. The No.10 seed will next face America's Denis Kudla. Richard Gasquet, the 13th seed, edged past James Duckworth in a tight five-setter.

Great Britain's Daniel Smethurst will no longer play a part after he lost in straight sets to John Isner, but veteran Tommy Robredo is through after a 7-6(5) 1-6 6-2 6-4 win against Lukas Lacko.

For a full list of results from day two at Wimbledon, please click here

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