From one Sam to another. Roger Federer knocked out the towering Australian, Sam Groth, needing four sets to advance after a minor hiccup in the third set tiebreak (ESPN interview video below). The 7-time Wimbledon champion picked his spots despite the Australian’s powerful serve, often exceeding 140mph. On a few occasions, Groth’s serve topped 145mph, including one at 147mph, second fastest in Wimbledon history.
However the 33-year-old Swiss didn’t need tiebreaks to win sets Saturday on Centre Court. In fact he lost the only tiebreak after double faulting at 3-all, giving Groth the mini-break edge needed. Federer convincingly broke serve once in each of the first two sets. After dropping the third set, he quickly regrouped to sweep past Groth and book his spot in the fourth round. Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all – Federer converted four of eight break point opportunities against the powerful Groth serve. Including today, the hailed greatest of all time has not faced a single break point.
In 2 hours 16 minutes, Federer defeated Groth 6-4 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-2. He will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the fourth round on Monday. Afterward, the Swiss reflected on the match in his press conference (video below).
“He [Groth] can stay in the match just by serving,” said Federer. “But the only thing I really had to change was my returning. The service games I can control myself: what to do on second serves, what to do on first serves. That’s the biggest effort for me when I play a big-server – understanding those patterns. I also needed to focus on my own serve and I did that well.”
“I’m not coming into Wimbledon being not quite sure about my game,” he said. “Three matches and no breaks faced – it’s great. I couldn’t do it in Halle, which was more all over the place in the beginning. I’m in a more solid place. It’s going to help a lot of players improve on grass.”
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