AP Photo

Roger Federer dominant in Wimbledon opener

Leave a comment

LONDON — Roger Federer didn’t need his initials to sign off on another masterful display at Wimbledon.

He’s hoping to get them back soon, though.

Federer’s stylish “RF” logo was missing from his outfit as he stepped out on Centre Court on Monday to begin his title defense with a quick 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 win over Dusan Lajovic. So was the Nike swoosh that has been an ever-present adornment during his 15 years of tennis dominance.

The eyebrow-raising new look was a result of switching apparel sponsors to Japanese clothing company Uniqlo, despite the Swiss star’s name having been synonymous with Nike ever since winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003. And while the swoosh may be gone for good, Federer wants to reclaim his initials.

“Yeah, so the RF logo is with Nike at the moment, but it will come to me at some point. I hope rather sooner than later, that Nike can be nice and helpful in the process to bring it over to me,” Federer said. “They are my initials. They are mine. The good thing is it’s not theirs forever. In a short period of time, it will come to me.”

One thing that clearly hasn’t left him – even at the age of 36 – is his mastery of grass courts.

Starting his quest for a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title, Federer looked as sharp as ever.

Lajovic held serve in the opening game but that was as good as it got for the 58th-ranked Serb. Federer reeled off the next nine games to take charge and was in cruise control for the rest of the match.

Federer didn’t face a break point and showed off the full repertoire of shots that has made him the most successful male player ever at Wimbledon. He set another record in the process, becoming the first man in the Open era to play in the grass-court Grand Slam for a 20th straight year.

The man he beat in last year’s final, Marin Cilic, also advanced easily. The third-seeded Croatian cruised past Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. He joined No. 8 Kevin Anderson and American duo John Isner and Sam Querrey to advance in straight sets.

No. 6 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria was the highest-seeded man to bow out, losing to Stan Wawrinka 1-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Federer’s move to Uniqlo had been rumored ahead of the tournament, but wasn’t confirmed until he stepped onto the court. However, he hasn’t completely left Nike behind. He still wore the American company’s shoes on court, although he may have had to pay for these ones himself.

“I don’t have a shoe deal,” he said. “I’m looking forward to see what shoes I will be wearing in the near future. For now, I will be wearing Nike. They have shown interest to have a shoe deal with me, as well. Ties are not broken there. I have deep roots with Nike. I’ve had a great relationship over the last 20 years. But everything is open.”

Federer, Zverev lead Team Europe to Laver Cup win

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CHICAGO — Alexander Zverev beat Kevin Anderson on Sunday night to give Team Europe a victory in the second Laver Cup.

Zverev won the final five points to defeat Anderson 6-7, 7-5, (10-7). His victory helped Team Europe beat Team World 13-8.

Roger Federer earlier put Team Europe ahead by saving three match points for a 6-7, 7-6, (10-7) victory over John Isner.

Isner staggered Federer with a body serve that caused the 20-time Grand Slam winner to stumble early in the match. But Federer regrouped and fought off two match points in the second-set tiebreaker before capturing the deciding 10-point tiebreaker used in the Laver Cup.

In the opening doubles match, Jack Sock and Isner saved two match points in the deciding tiebreaker to beat Federer and Zverev 4-6, 7-6, (11-9).

Team Europe won the first Laver Cup last year in Prague.

Muguruza wins in first round of Wuhan Open; Ostapenko loses

Getty Images
Leave a comment

WUHAN, China — Gabrine Muguruza got off to winning start at the Wuhan Open. Jelena Ostapenko didn’t.

Muguruza defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-0 on Monday in the first round of the tournament, avenging a second-round loss to the Belgian at Wimbledon.

“I’m happy that I won this time. I remember the match from Wimbledon, like a very tough match for me,” said Muguruza, who had been the defending champion at the All England Club. “It’s always good to play again the same person that beat you, feeling good you did something much better than the previous match.”

Muguruza will next face Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic, who defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Ostapenko, who followed Muguruza as French Open champion in 2017, was beaten by Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-4.

Gavrilova, who won for only the second time in four appearances at the Wuhan Open, broke Ostapneko’s serve five times. She will next play Barbora Strycova, who defeated Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-2.

Ashleigh Barty, a finalist last year in Wuhan, defeated Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-4 to advance.

Other winners included Aryna Sabalenka, Donna Vekic, Aleksandra Krunic, Dominika Cibulkova, Madison Keys and Wang Xiyu.