London [UK], July 2 (ANI): Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer on Friday expressed gratitude towards the fans as he spoke about the joy of playing in front of them after sporting events across the globe had to be held behind closed doors over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federer had pulled out of various tournaments in the last year due to injury concerns and when he featured in competitions it was being played behind closed doors due to travel restrictions or COVID-19 protocols.
The tennis star is now elated to play in the ongoing Wimbledon Championships in front of the crowd. "After 18 months of rehabbing and performing behind closed doors, playing on Centre Court to a passionate crowd makes it all worth it. Thank you," Federer tweeted.
Federer breezed past Richard Gasquet to reach the third round of the Wimbledon here at the center court on Thursday. The 39-year-old Federer became the oldest man since Ken Rosewall in 1975 to make the last 32 after his 7-6(1), 6-1, 6-4 victory over the Frenchman.
In a nervous start for both players, it wasn't until the tie-break that Federer, who struck 18 winners in the first set, got into full flow. Gasquet, who had performed well, hit his second double fault to conclude the 49-minute set.
The second set was just too easy for Federer as the 8-times Wimbledon champion raced through with 5-0 advantage and later hit a sixth ace to clinch the set.
Federer continued to threaten Gasquet's serve in the third set, finally breaking through after the Frenchman mistimed a backhand drop shot at 3-3. Gasquet saved a match point at 3-5, 30/40 with a fine forehand approach and easy put-away. But minutes later Federer struck his 50th winner -- an ace -- to complete his victory in one hour and 51 minutes. (ANI)