Seven-time Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer eased through the first round at Wimbledon Monday, beating Italy’s Guido Pella in straight sets to set up a second-round matchup with qualifier Marcus Willis.
Speaking after his 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 6-3 victory, Federer talked about his recent injury problems.
“I’ve worked as hard as I possibly could since February. My big goal was to not miss Wimbledon, to be here, hopefully at 100 percent,” said Federer.
“Don’t know yet if I am. But I’m definitely here winning in straight sets in my first round against a good player,” he added.
“Time heals a lot of problems, a lot of issues. It’s another day, another step in the right direction. It gives me confidence as I hopefully move forward.”
Asked about his next opponent, the 772nd-ranked Brit, Federer said, “I think it’s one of the best stories in a long time in our sport.”
“This is the kind of stories we need in our sport. I think it’s a great, great story. I’m very excited to be playing him actually. It’s not something that I get to do very often. I’m looking forward to that,” he added.
Federer praised Willis following his first-round win over world number 54 Ricardas Berankis.
“He is serve and volleying, which I love to see,” Federer said. “He came up with some great, great shots. To beat a guy of Berankis’ calibre in straight sets shows you how tough he is. I think his game is perfectly suited for these kind of conditions right now.”
Talking about Wednesday’s second-round tie, the former champion said, “This match is different. It’s picked up on momentum. People will hear about it. People will know about it. Naturally they’re going to support him – rightfully so, because I think it’s a very cool story myself. It’s going to make the match difficult.”