Federer crushes Clarke to reach third round

Roger Federer had never lost a Grand Slam match to somebody as low as Jay Clarke in the rankings.

Federer crushes Clarke to reach third round Image Courtesy: Reuters

LONDON: Roger Federer dashed home hopes of an outlandish upset at Wimbledon by easing into the third round with a 6-1 7-6(3) 6-2 win over Britain`s world number 169 Jay Clarke on Thursday to reach the third round. 

Federer had never lost a Grand Slam match to somebody as low as Clarke in the rankings and, despite the Briton putting up a brave fight in the second set, the huge gulf in class ensured the Swiss never had to get out of second gear.

Chasing a ninth Wimbledon title, Federer blasted out of the blocks, winning the opening set in double quick time, before Clarke got a foothold in the contest, holding serve throughout the second set to force a tiebreak. 

The home crowd began to sense the beginnings of an upset when Clarke secured a mini-break on the Federer serve, but it was a fleeting advantage, with the Swiss taking the set and breaking early in the third.

The 20-year-old Clarke handed Federer matchpoint with a double fault and the 20-times Grand Slam champion wrapped up the contest when the Briton sent a backhand wide. 

"I really enjoyed myself. The tank is full. I came here with a lot of confidence, the first few matches haven`t been very taxing physically. You try to win your matches regardless of the score, if you win them in straights that`s better," Federer said, adding, "This first week has been going well and I know the opponents in terms of ranking will now get better."

The Swiss will next face either Lucas Pouille or Gregoire Barrere.