Federer through but Willis the talk of the town

Roger Federer secured a straight sets victory over Guido Pella in his Wimbledon opener to set up a second round clash with a British qualifier who stole all of the headlines.

After walking out to a rapturous standing ovation on Centre Court, Federer got to work against Pella, although he found himself with precious few opportunities on the Argentine’s serve.

A tie-break would decide the first set, and after Federer failed to convert any of the six break points he earned in the second set, it was left to another tie-break to separate the players, which once again saw Federer come out on top.

The Swiss was finally able to convert a break point in the eighth game of the third set, before going on to seal a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (6-3), 6-3 victory in just over two hours.

Awaiting Federer in the second round is British qualifier Marcus Willis – a player ranked just 772nd in the world.

Willis, a tennis coach who came through six rounds of qualifying to earn his debut at the All England Club, secured a shock 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Lithuania’s Ricardis Berankis, the World No 54.

Prior to this win, Willis had earned just £220 in prize money in 2016, and he was set to give up playing professionally to pursue his coaching career in the USA – before his new girlfriend convinced him not to.

“I’ve been coaching at the Warwick Boat Club,” he said. “I had options in Philadelphia. Nothing was dead set. But I met the girl, she told me not to, so I didn’t. I do what I’m told.”

The manner of Willis’ win over Berankis was also pretty extraordinary. He somehow managed to save 19 of 20 break points, frequently frustrating and flummoxing his opponent with his unconventional, journeyman style of play.

Willis’ win over Berankis will guarantee him £50,000, and a second-round meeting with seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer on Centre Court.

“Obviously it’s an amazing dream come true. I get to play on a stadium court. This is what I dreamed of when I was younger,” he said.

“I’m going to go out there and try to win the tennis match. I probably won’t. I might not. But I’m going to give everything, as I have the last seven matches.”

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