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Federer Defeats Norrie to Reach Week Two at Wimbledon • Medvedev Beats Cilic

Daniil Medvedev hits a forehand during the 3rd round match against Marin Cilic at the Wimbledon Championships, 03 July 2021. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

By Ricky Dimon

Daniil Medvedev saved his first comeback from two sets down for the last match of Wimbledon’s first week.

Medvedev booked the final spot on “Manic Monday’ by overcoming Marin Cilic 6-7(3), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday evening. The world No. 2 started slow but dominated the final three sets to advance in three hours and 40 minutes.

There was really only one turning point over the course of five sets. After going up two sets to love, Cilic earned two break chances at 2-2 in the third. Medvedev saved them, though, and from then on he was a different player. The Russian stormed through the third and fourth and was never troubled again until things suddenly hit a snag at 5-0. Cilic broke from 5-0, 40-0, triple match point down and then held for 2-5. On his second time of asking while toeing the line with the match on his racket, Medvedev held easily to clinch victory.

Daniil Medvedev reacts during the 3rd round match against Marin Cilic of Croatia at the Wimbledon Championships, 03 July 2021. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

“A hundred percent,” the Russian said when asked if coming back from two sets down gives him confidence moving forward. “Because that’s probably the toughest thing you can do in tennis–coming back from two sets down in a Grand Slam. That’s very tough. You have three sets to go.

“I had two times here in Wimbledon where I came back from two sets to love down, had a break in the fifth, and didn’t make it. It was not easy [today]. Luckily I managed to have three breaks in the fifth; I could still lose one and make it at 5-2. But definitely for the confidence and just for my career, for me as a tennis player, as a sportsman, these things, they make you better.”

Cilic needed his serve to be better over the final three sets. Instead, he finished with 10 double-faults–and in sets three, four, and five combined he had more doubles than aces.

“Unfortunately I didn’t have much help from my serve in these last two-and-a-half sets,” the 2017 runner-up lamented. “Yeah, definitely disappointed with that. But (the) first couple sets were really, really high-quality tennis.

“Daniil is playing really [well]. He’s definitely in good form. He won last week, and when he gets really on the roll…he did that a few times already in his career…when he gets on a roll he can play really well. Definitely (he) is gonna be a tough player to beat here at Wimbledon.”

Nobody throughout history has been tougher to beat at Wimbledon than Roger Federer.

Roger Federer hits a forehand during the 3rd round match against Cameron Norrie at the Wimbledon Championships, 03 July 2021. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Cameron Norrie has been one of the hottest players on tour in 2021, but not even he had enough to take down the eight-time champion on Saturday. Federer fought past the left-hander 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 after two hours and 35 minutes.

“[The win] meant a lot to me because I thought actually I played a really good match throughout, except maybe that one game where Norrie [broke] me,” Federer assessed. “Sure, he returned well. It was a bit easy for him to get that break. It was a difficult couple of minutes for me after missing the break points, then coming back and serving on the other side.

“Credit to him for pushing me. I know he’s had a really good season so far; he’s played a ton of matches and a lot of tournaments. It’s really a win for me, like a reference point as well, if I can beat somebody of his level who played well last week, who is playing at home, who’s played a ton of matches. That’s why I was extremely happy that I found ways to fight back in that fourth set.”

“It was amazing to play against him, to experience that, to have that kind of atmosphere out there on Centre Court,” Norrie commented. “I loved every minute of it…. It’s exciting for me to be playing matches like this. I think this is why we play the sport, to play matches like this, play on Centre Court against Roger Federer.

“It was unbelievable; I just really enjoyed it. I’m sure a lot of people are following. I’ve got a decent amount of messages that people are following from all over the world. Like I said, it was just amazing and so special to play, experience that, just share the court with him.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.