London: With no coach in his corner to guide him when the going gets tough, Roger Federer joked on Friday that he maybe could even a little guidance from Queen Elizabeth.
The six-times Wimbledon champion struggled to find his A-Game in his first two matches but after being summoned on his day off to dine with the Queen, he finally found the form that has helped him to reign at the All England Club for most of the 21st century.
"She knew about my tough first round," Federer said on Friday after producing a majestic performance in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 third round pummelling of Arnaud Clement.
"She said I should hit more backhands down the line," the top seed added to hoots of laughter.
In case anyone thought he was being serious, and perhaps to make sure he does not get banished to the Tower of London, the Swiss quickly poured cold water on the theory.
But there was no doubting that after setting pulses racing in his first match when he came within three points of defeat against Colombian Alejandro Falls, and causing a few more panic attacks on Wednesday when he was stretched to four sets by Ilija Bozoljac, he finally hit his stride on Day Five.