Roger Federer has eased past his second round opponent Lucas Lacko of the Slovak Republic 6-4,6-4,6-1 on Wednesday as he continues his bid for a record extending nine Wimbledon titles. The 36 year old Swiss won 35 consecutive points on serve during the match on center court as he extended his streak of consecutive sets won to 26, matching his second best streak at the Championships. His longest streak of 34 sets came in the third round in 2005 and the final in 2006.
Having lost only eight games in his opener against Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, Federer broke serve in the seventh game and from 5-4 in the first set to 4-1,30-0 in the third, Federer won 35 straight service points which included eight consecutive love service holds. Lacko, who reached his first grass court final in Eastbourne last Saturday losing to the German Mischa Zverev, fell to 0-19 against top 10 players.
Federer next faces Jan-Lennard Struff who came back from a two set deficit to win his second consecutive five set match against the big serving Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-7(5),3-6,7-6(4),7-6(4),13-11. The Croat had a match point on the German’s serve in the twelveth game of the fourth set, but Struff and then converted his first match point in the 24th game of the decider. Karlovic had an astonishing 61 aces, while Struff hit 31. The 39 year old Karlovic became the first player in 40 years (since the 44 year old Ken Rosewall in 1978) to reach the Australian Open third round in 2018.
The 2016 finalist Milos Raonic of Canada took three tie-breaks, all of them 7-4 against the Australian John Millman, while last year’s semi-finalist Sam Querrey of the U.S.A. had an easy 7-6(4),6-3,6-3 win over the Russian Sergiy Stakhovsky, better known for his defeat of Federer in the second round five years ago when Federer was defending the title he won in 2012.
Another Russian, Daniil Medvedev was in superb form as he followed up his upset win of the Halle Open winner Borna Coric of Croatia, with a 6-3,6-4,6-2 win over the veteran Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. He next plays the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, seeded 22nd, who took out the American Ryan Harrison 7-5,7-5,7-6(4). Another Frenchman Gael Monfils beat the Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-3,3-6,7-6(5),7-6(3).
Another Frenchman Lucas Pouille, seeded 17th and the highest ranked Frenchman in the 128 player draw, was surprisingly beaten by the little known Austrian Dennis Novak 6-4,6-2,6-7(8),3-6,6-2. The Macedonian Radu Albot won his second consecutive five set match, as he took out Aljaz Bedene of the Slovak Republic 6-2,4-6,7-6(3),5-7,6-3. Another player to win in five sets was the American McKenzie McDonald who beat the Chilean Nicolas Jarry 7-6(5),5-7,3-6,6-2,11-9.
Following is the list of matches to be played in the bottom half of the men’s draw with my pick mentioned first:-
Rafael Nadal (2) v. Mikhail Kukushkin (-)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (-) v. Alex de Minaur (-)
Fabio Fognini (19) v. Simone Bolelli (-)
Jiri Vesley (-) v. Diego Schwartzman (14)
Matthew Ebden (-) v. Stephane Roberts (-)
Giles Simon (-) v. Matteo Berrettini (-)
Denis Shapovalov (26) v. Benoit Paire (-)
Juan Martin Del Potro (5) v. Feliciano Lopez (-)
Alexander Zverev (3) v. Taylor Fritz (-)
Damir Dzumhur (27) v. Ernests Gulbis (-)
Kei Nishikori (24) v. Bernard Tomic (-)
Nick Kyrgios (15) v. Robin Haase (-)
Novak Djokovic (12) v. Horacio Zeballos (-)
Kyle Edmund (21) v. Bradley Klahn (-)
Frances Tiafoe (-) v. Julien Benneteau (-)
Karen Khachanov (-) v. Marcos Baghdatis (-)
Six matches were suspended in the men’s section of the draw. Last year’s finalist Marin Cilic of Croatia was up 6-3,6-1,3-4 against Guido Pella of Argentina. Kevin Anderson was up two sets to one against the Italian Andreas Seppi, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece also leads the American Jared Donaldson by two sets to one. John Isner was 3-4 down but on serve in the fifth set against Belgian Ruben Bemelmans. Phillip Kohlschreiber leads 7-6(6),6-6 against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, while Stanislas Wawrinka had dropped the first two sets against the Italian Thomas Fabbiano and was 6-5 up on serve in the third set.
In the women’s section, the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus advanced into the third round. Serena, the seven time champion beat Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria 6-1,6-4, while Venus won 4-6,6-0,6-1 against Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania. However the Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, seeded second was beaten 4-6,6-1,5-7 by the Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Also winning were the Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, Julia Goerges of Germany, Camila Giorgi of Italy, Kiki Bertens of Netherlands, Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, Donna Vekic of Croatia, Evgeniya Rodina of Russia, the American Madison Keys, Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium and Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania.
The 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, seeded 32nd, was upset by Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 5-7,4-6. Two matches have been rescheduled for Day 4 as Barbara Strycova of the Czech Republic plays the Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko and the Tunisian Ons Jabeur plays Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic. Also in action will be the top seed Simona Halep of Romania and the defending champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]