Federer impresses royals with victory


WIMBLEDON, England - Roger Federer gave Prince Charles a bow, then gave Fabio Fognini a royal thumping.

With the Prince of Wales visiting Wimbledon for the first time since 1970, Federer was at his best on Wednesday and beat Fognini, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.

Federer, a six-time winner at the All England Club, won 37 of 41 points on his first serve and 21 of 23 points at the net against the 68th-ranked Italian.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall sat in the first row of the Royal Box as Federer walked onto Centre Court for the day's first match. He and Fognini stood side by side as they bowed awkwardly toward the royals, and Charles responded with a wave and grin.

"They do brief you beforehand," Federer said. "I guess you don't do anything stupid. You behave. Obviously we were asked to bow, which is obviously no problem to do. We're thrilled for the tennis family that they came to watch Wimbledon today."

Shortly after Federer's second-round victory, rain interrupted play, and the retractable roof on Centre Court was closed for the first time in the tournament. Defending champion Novak Djokovic beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the day's final match.

"We went the distance," Djokovic said. "I'm honored to be in a position to play on the most recognized Centre Court worldwide in our sport. Every time I step on Centre Court, you can feel the different energy from any other tournament."

Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki lost under the roof to Tamira Paszek, who saved two match points in the second set and won, 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-4.

Other Grand Slam champions advancing included Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick, while 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur and 2011 French Open champion Li Na lost. More than a dozen matches on outside courts were postponed until today.

Top-ranked Maria Sharapova led 7-6 (3), 3-1 when her second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova was suspended due to darkness. Sharapova saved five set points in the first set.

When Federer completed his victory, Charles and Camilla joined the crowd's applause. He visited with the royal couple afterward for several minutes, talking about tennis, polo and Federer's twin daughters.

"They were very nice, very sweet and thought I played great," Federer said, "which was very nice to get some compliments after the match, which was unnecessary, but of course I do appreciate it."

Seeded third, Federer hopes to end his 2½-year drought in major tournaments, and he's off to a good start, losing only nine games through two rounds. He seeks to add to his record total of 16 Grand Slam championships, and he could match the record of seven Wimbledon men's titles set by William Renshaw in the 1880s and tied by Pete Sampras in 2000.

"I'm just happy overall with how I'm playing," Federer said. "I'm serving well when I have to. I'm moving well. I feel like my forehand and backhand are working well."

American Sloane Stephens, playing in her first Wimbledon, saved five set points in the first set and beat No. 23 Petra Cetkovska, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3.

Heather Watson became the first British woman to reach the third round since 2002 when she defeated American Jamie Hampton, 6-1, 6-4.

 

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