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Federer’s First Week at Wimbledon was Tough — Week Two Could Begin Even Tougher

Roger Federer after a training session at the Aorangi Practice Courts at The Wimbledon Championships, 04 July 2021. EPA-EFE/AELTC / Jonathan Nackstrand

By Ricky Dimon

Roger Federer has advanced to the Wimbledon fourth round, just as he did at the French Open. And similar to the story at Roland Garros, it wasn’t easy to get there. Much unlike at Roland Garros, though, you can be sure Federer will take the court for week two at the All-England Club. Next up for the Swiss is Lorenzo Sonego, and the winner will meet either Daniil Medvedev or Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals.

Ricky previews those two matches and makes his predictions.

(6) Roger Federer vs. (23) Lorenzo Sonego

Federer’s first week at Wimbledon was not entirely straightforward, but at 39 years old he will take a spot on Manic Monday any way he can get it. The 20-time Grand Slam champion lost two sets to Adrian Mannarino before the Frenchman slipped and had to retire from their first-round match due to a knee injury. Following an improved performance against Richard Gasquet, Federer struggled at times during a 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 defeat of Cameron Norrie on Saturday. He is now 8-3 this season and 4-1 on grass, with a disappointing setback at the hands of Felix Auger-Aliassime in Halle.

Up next for Federer is Sonego, who lost their only previous encounter 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 at the 2019 French Open. Of course, it has been a tale of two different careers since then. Whereas Federer has played sparingly in recent seasons, Sonego has emerged as a force in the top 30 on tour. A complete all-court player, the 27th-ranked Italian’s grass-court success includes the 2019 Antalya title, a runner-up performance last week in Eastbourne, and now a run to the Wimbledon fourth round. Sonego has won nine of 10 sets so far this week and in the only four-set match he has played resulted in a 6-1 fourth. Eight of his nine victorious sets have been won prior to a tiebreaker being necessary. Federer’s best would win this match, but the Swiss is no longer at his best.

Pick: Sonego in 5

Lorenzo Sonego in action against James Duckworth during their third round match at the Wimbledon Championships, 03 July 2021. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

(14) Hubert Hurkacz vs. (2) Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev and Hurkacz will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers on Monday. Although Medvedev was the one expected to advance this far, he had a tougher time doing so. The second-ranked Russian battled past Jan-Lennard Struff in a fourth-set tiebreaker to begin his tournament and he came back from two sets down against Marin Cilic on Saturday. In between, mauled Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. A title last week in Eastbourne and an impressive effort against Cilic–the 2017 Wimbledon runner-up–should have Medvedev poised for second-week success.

Hurkacz had been a complete disaster since triumphing at the Miami Masters, with a 1-6 record during this stretch and a six-match losing streak heading into Wimbledon. From out of nowhere, however, the 18th-ranked Pole did not drop a single set throughout week one. He got favorable draws against Lorenzo Musetti and Marcos Giron before routing Alexander Bublik in impressive 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 fashion. The competition level ratchets up dramatically in the form of Medvedev, who returns too well for an opponent like Hurkacz–who has a good serve but not a great one.

Pick: Medvedev in 3

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

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