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New-Look • Roger Federer Cruises In Wimbledon Opener Over Dusan LAJOVIC • Nike Fumble • Swoosh On Shoes By: Richard Pagliaro

By: Richard Pagliaro
Sporting new threads, Roger Federer delivered a dress-down in his Wimbledon return.

 

Wearing Uniqlo clothes for the first time in his career, Federer launched his Wimbledon defense with a pristine 6-1, 6-3, 6-4, sweep of Dusan Lajovic.

 

Looking fit and moving fluidly, Federer scored his 57th consecutive Grand Slam first-round win, improving his Wimbledon record to 92-11.

 

The match was a rematch of the 2017 Wimbledon second round, which saw Federer drop serve in the opening game before roaring back for a 7-6, 6-3, 6-2, victory.

 

Today, the 36-year-old Swiss snuffed out any hope of a Lajovic challenge, reeling off nine straight games to blow the match open.

 

“[I’m] very happy. I felt good from the start, too, which was nice,” Federer said. “I felt right at home again, so it was a really nice feeling. Got the early break in each set and was able to bring it home.”

 

The father of two sets of twins enjoyed a festive family day on Centre Court cruising to victory in front of an appreciative crowd that included wife Mirka, sporting blue shades, and eight-year-old daughters Myle and Charlene and four-year-old sons Leo and Lenny.

 

“I’m very happy to be in front of my children,” Federer said. “It’s probably the most special thing for me. I get such amazing support around the world. If I’m still playing it’s because of the fans.”

 

The match signaled Federer joining the Uniqlo family as a global brand ambassador.

 

The top-seeded Swiss, who had worn Nike clothes and shoes throughout his pro career, walked on Centre Court wearing new white Uniqlo apparel and a matching headband along with his familiar Nike shoes.

 

Federer’s first Centre Court appearance without the swoosh logo on his shirt and headband was a bit like seeing Superman without an “S” on his chest for some fans who gasped at the sight.

 

Federer was earning about $7.5 million annually with Nike. His new Uniqlo deal will reportedly triple that total annually.

 

Aside from a major financial boost, Federer is hugely popular in Asia and will be a major draw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, assuming he plays after missing the Rio Olympics two years ago.

 

Though his Nike deal ended in March, Federer wore the swoosh brand in tune-up tournaments in Stuttgart and Halle and was wearing the brand during his Wimbledon practice week.

 

The eight-time champion conducted his pre-tournament press conference wearing a sport jacket, but cast aside formality today.

 

Federer set the tone on serve. He served 71 percent, won 40 of 44 first-serve points, 11 of 18 second-serve points and did not face a break point.

 

Persistently pressing forward with imposing results, the Swiss stylist won 22 of 27 trips to net.

 

Deploying the chip-and-charge brilliantly, Federer earned triple break point. The reigning champion rifled a return down the line breaking at love for 2-1.

 

The 36-year-old Swiss reeled off four consecutive games breaking again for 4-1.

 

Darting across the court in a diagonal sprint, Federer lashed a running backhand pass for a fourth set point.

 

Dancing around his backhand, the Swiss lasered a forehand off the baseline scoring his third straight break to seize a sharp opening set in just 20 minutes.

 

Carving Lajovic up with razor combinations, Federer soared through nine consecutive games building a 6-1, 3-0 lead before the Serbian finally stalled his slide.

 

The scalpel serve opened the court for Federer’s incisive drives. The Swiss slid his seventh ace to snatch a two-set lead.

 

Blasting a backhand, Federer came forward and watched the Serbian’s floated reply sail long as he cruised through a 79-minute conquest.

This new-look Roger Federer brought the same familiar dynamic tennis to Centre Court.

Editors Note : Nike will regret this loss. So will Roger. Nike was branded on him. Nike tennis division grew in tennis with him. The RF logo. The shirts , the hats. The outfits. At a time when we see nostalgia in all directions. Fila just signed Bjorn Borg and his son Robin. 

Oh , SERENA just took the court wearing all white. No Nike Logo ? Only on shoes …. Ok. We see it On  her shirt but only minimal signage … Players and coaches are all walking billboards. It Will be interesting to see ROGERS new “PATCH” deals . And really. SERENA looks awesome. But obviously she has contract issues. Hey Jill what’s up ? (LJ)

The umpire at the net with Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) and Dusan Lajovic of Serbia prior to their first round match during the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 02 July 2018. EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

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