39 Year Old Roger Federer Moves Into 2nd Week At Wimbledon. Roger Federer didn’t play his best tennis on Saturday, but the 39-year-old great did enough to move to the second week of Wimbledon and keep his hopes of a 21st major victory alive.

Federer defeated Britain’s Cam Norrie, the No. 29 seed, 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to move to a fourth-round match against No. 23 Lorenzo Sonego. In the process, he moved to 18-0 in Wimbledon’s third round and won his 1,250th career tour-level match. He has 368 major championship victories in his career and has now advanced to 27-1 in his past 28 majors encounters versus left-handers. Serena Williams ranks second in the Open Era with 365 points. 

Federer, who is vying for his seventh Wimbledon crown, said on court, “I’m extremely relieved.” “It was a difficult struggle. It was so close… He deserved to win the third set. I think he played brilliantly today, and for me, I felt I was able to maintain a pretty high level of play, and he got the nice break there at the end of the third that cost me the set, but overall, I’m pleased with how I performed.”

Federer broke Norrie in the sixth game of the fourth set but was unable to convert and was broken again for a 3-all tie. He broke again for 5-4 and then served out the match.

Federer advanced in the first round despite going into the fifth set against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who slid on the grass after the fourth set and withdrew with a knee injury. After seeming slow at times and laboring with his forehand in the first round, he was much more efficient in the second round, beating another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, in straight sets. Federer served just seven aces against Norrie, earning 74% of the games on his first serve and converting 4-of-11 break chances.

“I think I’m playing at a good level right now,” he added. “I was fortunate in the first round. My English is improving, and everything is going swimmingly for me.” 

Federer’s draw appears to be good. He now faces Sonego, 26, rated No. 27 in the world. In 2019, the Swiss won their singles match in straight sets in the first round at Roland Garros.

If he wins, he will play either No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, who rallied from two sets down to beat former US Open winner Marin Cilic in five sets, or fast-rising Polish sensation Hubert Hurcacz, who progressed in straight sets. Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Karen Khachanov are three Russian men in the round of 16 for the first time. 

If Federer advances to the semifinals, he will face No. 4 seed Sascha Zverev, who defeated American Taylor Fritz in four sets on Saturday. Next up for Zverev is 20-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who progressed when Nick Kyrgios quit due to injury. Kyrgios hadn’t played since the Australian Open, but he acknowledged last week that he “trained extremely hard for two weeks” in preparation for Wimbledon.

Of course, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who defeated Federer in 2019 final and claimed Friday that wolves are his spirit animal, lurks on the other side of the draw as a potential finals opponent if Federer advances.

“It’s extremely remarkable to see what he’s accomplishing this year again,” Federer said of Djokovic, who is halfway through a calendar Grand Slam. “He appears to be the clear favorite here. He’s earned it. He’s put forth a lot of effort.”

With Djokovic on track to break Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record of 20 majors, Federer, who had two knee operations in 2020, claimed he’s not still playing because of Djokovic: “I don’t think I’m playing because Novak is accomplishing amazing things.” Rafa is the same way. I’m going to do my own thing. I was having knee troubles of my own. That has been the main focus.”

Federer remarked of reaching the fourth round of a major for the 69th time in his career, “It’s a wonderful stat to hear.” It demonstrates to me that when I wake up in the morning, that has occurred. 

“I’ve done a lot of tennis. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and I hope I still have a little bit left in me. It’s a real pleasure to be playing right now. I think this one is significant since I’m almost 40, and it’s the final round before I turn the big 40. At this point, everything is a plus, and we’ll see how far I can get here.”

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