Even Roger Federer was surprised at just how easy his 99th Wimbledon victory was.
The eight-time champion brushed aside 17th seed Matteo Berrettini 6-1 6-2 6-2 in just an hour and 14 minutes on Centre Court.
“I felt good today,” he said. “It’s also been a week. Now we’re two weeks into Wimbledon essentially, with one week of matches having been played.
“I think the performances start going up naturally. We know how the surface reacts, how the balls are flying, all these things. We can play closer to the lines.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 8, 2019
“Obviously today was excellent. I was very happy. I was expecting a tough match and a close one with not many chances. It was actually quite the opposite, so that was great.”
Federer will bring up his century of wins at SW19 if he beats eighth seed Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.
Not many of the previous 98 could have been this straightforward, so powerless was Berrettini to even threaten the 37-year-old.
Federer was a break up inside 10 minutes, and had the first set wrapped up within 17 in a painful opening for Berrettini.
Things did not improve much for the Italian in the second, the dreaded Mexican wave breaking out as the crowd made their own entertainment once Federer had the set in the bag after three quarters of an hour.
Berrettini’s humiliation was complete when, facing yet another break point in the third, he misjudged the spin on a Federer return, swatted at thin air and fell in a heap on the grass.
“His coach congratulated me and thanked me, almost,” revealed Federer. “I was like, ‘why’? He was like, ‘it’s good for him to get a lesson’.
“What’s important is that he’s not too disappointed, because he’s had a great run. It’s important for him to look ahead. There’s so many great moments coming in his career. Also I lost sometimes the hard way.
“Some losses you can’t explain. What is important is that, especially in those moments when you lost extremely hard, when you had high expectations, and you really get taken down, is that’s when you take a major step forward.
“It’s OK to take a step back, but then you have to take two forward. I hope that’s what he does exactly from today onwards.”