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Roger Federer drops set -- but then cruises in Wimbledon opener

Wimbledon is an English tradition - with its strawberries and cream and grass courts - and the original grand slam. But what makes it so special?

Posted: Jul 2, 2019 4:10 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2019 4:10 PM

Roger Federer didn't suffer a shock exit at Wimbledon in his 2019 opener, but the record eight-time champion gave his millions of fans a minor scare when he lost a set against a player who grew up idolizing him -- make that another one.

In his Wimbledon debut world No. 86 Lloyd Harris nabbed the first set against the Swiss great before Federer cruised to victory 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 in front of Britain's Duchess of Cambridge.

But just how rare was dropping a set for Federer at the first hurdle at Wimbledon?

Since 2003, when the Swiss landed his first crown here, it was only the second time. In 2010 he came perilously close to exiting against Colombian left-hander Alejandro Falla.

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However, Federer was never in such danger against the lanky 22-year-old South African, who has never won a top-tier grass court match, especially after the trainer appeared for an apparent leg injury ahead of the final set.

Yet the early blemish Tuesday might lead some to wonder whether his deep run on the clay of the French Open last month will cost the soon-to-be 38-year-old later in the fortnight.

He hadn't competed at the French Open since 2015, either through injury or to prepare for Wimbledon.

Speaking of the clay, it was Rafael Nadal -- as usual -- who won at Roland Garros to land an 18th major and close to within two of Federer.

He was the one who beat Federer in the last four in hurricane like winds.

READ: Serena must 'focus' to break records, says tennis great Billie Jean King

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Kyrgios vs. Nadal?

Federer and Nadal feature in the same half of the draw at Wimbledon -- they haven't met here since their marathon epic 11 years ago -- but the Spaniard will first meet Nick Kyrgios in the second round after coming from an early break down to overcome Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita 6-3 6-1 6-3.

There is certainly no love lost between the pair, with the Australian calling Nadal "super salty" and a bad loser in May.

"We have a mutual respect, but that's about it I think," Kyrgios said Tuesday.

Kyrgios defeated Nadal at Wimbledon five years ago and then in February in Acapulco after saving three match points.

And he admitted that seeing Nadal in his section of the draw at Wimbledon gave him extra motivation. Or should that be simply motivation?

He progressed in five sets earlier in the day against his sometime Davis Cup teammate Jordan Thompson despite winning a mere five points in the fourth set.

He won the key points in the first, third and fifth to prevail 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 7-6 (12-10) 0-6 6-1 in three hours, 26 minutes.

The key moment of the decider came in the opening game, when a reeling Kyrgios fended off a break chance.

Defaulted at the Rome Masters after he had received a game penalty, Kyrgios was relatively muted against Thompson though he did receive a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third set.

So did Thompson, for bouncing his racket.

Serena, Barty through

Serena Williams began her quest for a 24th major by beating Italian qualifier Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-2 7-5 -- the Italian at 31 became the oldest grand slam debutante since 1977 when she played at May's French Open -- after being pegged back at 5-3 in the second.

Defending women's champion Angelique Kerber -- a winner over Williams in the 2018 final -- and world No.1 Ashleigh Barty advanced against Tatjana Maria and Zheng Saisai 6-4 6-3 and 6-4 6-2, respectively.

Kerber, Williams and Barty all feature in the loaded top quarter of the draw but another big name, Maria Sharapova, retired with a forearm injury while trailing Pauline Parmentier 5-0 in the third.

For Barty, it was a 13th consecutive victory, continuing the momentum garnered by opening her grand slam account in Paris and winning in Birmingham on grass -- her favorite surface -- last month.

Petra Kvitova just returned from an arm injury of her own and the twice champion successfully navigated the challenge of Ons Jabeur 6-4 6-2.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320174

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22294271
Hinds20755424
Harrison18450317
Rankin13923282
Jackson13733249
Madison10273225
Lee10063176
Jones8473167
Forrest7837153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636288
Lafayette6314121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606148
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4162136
Union415877
Neshoba4065180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3373111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314571
Adams308486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272374
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232369
Winston230282
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210659
Holmes190574
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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