'Relaxed and rejuvenated' Roger Federer chases record eighth Wimbledon title

Roger Federer

Unfortunately, the same was true of No2 seed Novak Djokovic, whose match was terminated with an nearly identical score and time when Martin Klizan retired in the third game of the second set having lost the first.

Naturally, the views of the two former champions, both of them also current or former members of the ATP Players Council, were sought. "I tried to find a bit of momentum but I couldn't find any rhythm".

Seven-times Wimbledon champion Federer led 6-3 3-0 when Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov withdrew with an ankle injury after 43 minutes. "They couldn't believe that it happened again, exactly the same situation", said Federer, who recorded his 85th match win at Wimbledon, passing the mark he shared with Jimmy Connors. The question always is, should they have started the match at all. They're there to watch good tennis. At least they see the two of us who gave it all they had.

By the end of the day it wouldn't have surprised anyone if they had asked for their money back with both Djokovic and Federer's opponents retiring providing just 83-minutes of play between them. "It's unfortunate that it happened today like this", he added.

So far, seven men have retired from the first round.

18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has called for change in rules in-order to discourage injured players showing up and pulling out. That only the player can answer. "One alternative might be to offer compensation for travel expenses incurred by players who travel to an event in good faith, only to pick up or aggravate an injury before they are due to go on court".

"I know the way he plays, he's the opposite of, let's say, Rafa on the court with the intensity level between points especially", Zverev said. The first round losers will reportedly receive £35,000 ( Rs 29,26,294 approx).

"Unless you're (in the) top 10.it's significant money", said Dolgopolov, who is ranked 84th. He said he supported new LTA rules whereby an injured player is able to claim prize money but a lucky loser takes their place.

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"When I went out, I felt like there was a bit of a letdown from the crowd".

Having unexpectedly won the Australian Open in January before taking the clay-court season off to rest, Federer, making a record-equalling 70th Grand Slam appearance, is the favourite to take the Wimbledon crown for the first time since 2012.

"It was great to be back on Centre Court".

There was also a straightforward win for 10th seed Venus Williams in the first round of the women's singles, with the 37-year-old - playing her 20th Wimbledon - brushing aside Elise Mertens 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.

But it was the short men's matches that had everyone talking.

America's John Isner said players owed it to the fans to stay and fight on court for as long as possible.

On their day Dolgopolov and Klizan have the talent to push even the very best - Dolgopolov has beaten Rafael Nadal in the past and Klizan kept Andy Murray on court for more than three and a half hours at the French Open last month - but here it was evident that their physical state meant that they were no match for Federer and Djokovic.

It was the kind of trouble-free first round Djokovic would have been hoping for after the most turbulent period of his career, the 12-time major victor losing in the Australian Open second round and the French Open quarter-finals.

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