London: Apparently if there was a perfect time to topple Roger Federer early at Wimbledon, this was the year — so believed Cameron Norrie and his vast legion of British fans.
A dogged 6-4 6-4 5-7 6-4 third round win for Federer on Saturday told its own story.
Federer plays a return during the men’s singles against Norrie. Credit:
The second set again started with a bit of misfortune for the Briton, who struck a ball that bounced into the stands and hit a little boy in the face. After making sure the child was okay, he tossed an official Wimbledon towel to the boy.
While the crowd applauded the gesture, Norrie’s own fortunes dipped further when Federer broke him for a 2-1 lead.
The Swiss, who turns 40 next month, held on to the advantage to take the set and appeared to be heading for a straight sets victory when he held break point at 5-5 in the third.
Instead a streaky backhand from Federer kept Norrie alive and within a flash it was the Swiss who was broken to love in the next game as he handed Norrie the set with a wild forehand.
Norrie kept Federer on his toes by breaking back for 3-3 in the fourth but the 20-time Grand Slam champion survived a fall in the ninth game to break for a 5-4 lead.
A netted service return handed Federer his 104th win at his favourite tournament as he made it into the second week at the All England Club for the 17th time in his last 18 appearances.
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