Roger Federer is starting to show the world that he has a really good chance of claiming his ninth Wimbledon title this year. World number one Novak is still the favourite to win the event, but the Swiss ace is a player that can never be written off.
On Saturday, Federer defeated British number two Cameron Norrie in four sets. The former Wimbledon champion won the first two sets easily, before Norrie rallied in the fourth set amid cheers from the home crowd. The Briton managed to take a set away from Federer, but the match eventually went in favour of the Swiss star 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Federer has now booked a spot into the last 16, despite having had very little time on court in the past two years. He underwent two knee surgeries last year, and did not participate in any event in 2020 since the onset of the pandemic. He returned to very limited action in 2021, and withdrew from the French Open last month after making it into the fourth round.
At that time, Federer said that he needed to listen to his body, and he did not think it was a good idea to go through the rest of the Grand Slam considering the fact that he had been out of action for so long. This cast doubt on his fitness level coming into Wimbledon, but he has now proven that he may have a real shot at the title.
Nevertheless, it is also necessary to point out that he looked in danger back in the first round, when he dropped two sets against Adrian Mannarino. They were heading into the fifth set when his opponent had to withdraw after slipping and sustaining an injury at Centre Court.
Federer will now have to show his consistency as we go into the second week of the event. He will next face Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the last 16.
The former world number one will be gunning for his 21st Grand Slam title, while Djokovic will try his hand at matching Federer and Rafael Nadal's record of 20 major titles each.