Wednesday Preview: Fashionable Federer Focused On Ninth Wimbledon Title
The fashion news out of the way, the focus will surely be all on tennis on Wednesday when Roger Federer faces Lukas Lacko of Slovakia for a place in the third round at Wimbledon (second on Centre Court). Federer surprised fans and industry observers on day one when he walked onto Centre Court with no Nike swoosh in sight, instead wearing the all-white clothes from Uniqlo, his new clothing sponsor.
“I was excited to wear Uniqlo today. I must tell you, it’s been a long time coming. I felt very good out there. It’s also crucial to play well, so it was helpful,” Federer said.
The Swiss star had been with Nike for 20 years, as long as he’s played at Wimbledon. The 36-year-old became the first man in the Open Era to make 20 consecutive Wimbledon appearances. Federer also evened Jimmy Connors’ Open Era record for most total appearances at the All England Club.
Lukas Lacko, who made his second ATP World Tour final last week in Eastbourne (l. to M. Zverev), took advantage of a nice draw to start The Championships, beating French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi in four sets. He’ll face bigger odds against Federer: The Swiss has lost in the Wimbledon second round only once, in 2013 to Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Marin Cilic, the man Federer beat in last year’s final, will look to win his seventh match in a row against Argentine Guido Pella (third on No. 1 Court). Cilic beat Novak Djokovic in the Fever-Tree Championships final last month to capture his 18th tour-level title and second on grass.
Canada’s Milos Raonic, 2016 Wimbledon finalist, struck 18 aces in his first-round win against Brit Liam Broady. The 13th seed will hope for a repeat effort against Aussie John Millman, who’s trying to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the fourth time and second at Wimbledon (2016, l. to Murray).
Eighth seed Kevin Anderson, three times a Round of 16 finisher at SW19, meets Italy’s Andreas Seppi, and Stakhovsky will have another chance at a Wimbledon upset when he meets 11th seed Sam Querrey, a semi-finalist last year.
In a battle of #NextGenATP old and new, American Jared Donaldson will meet 31st seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. Donaldson competed at the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals, but he was born before 1997, making him ineligible for this year’s Next Gen ATP Finals, to be held 6-10 November in Milan.
Tsitsipas, however, is only 19 and is in good position to make his debut at the 21-and-under event. The Greek right-hander is currently in third place in the ATP Race To Milan, which will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the prestigious event. The eighth spot will be rewarded to the winner of an all-Italian qualifying tournament held just before the Next Gen ATP Finals.