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Roger Federer was far from his best in a first-round Wimbledon win and admitted he was ‘lucky’ to get the win after his opponent, Adrian Mannarino, was forced to retire.
“Yeah, it’s awful,” said Federer after the match. “It shows that one shot can change the outcome of a match, a season, a career. I wish him all the best and he recovers quickly so we see him back on the courts.
“He could have won the match at the end obviously. He was the better player. So I definitely got a bit lucky. But who cares about that? I wish him all the best.”
He added: “That’s how it goes sometimes. You don’t get many walkovers throughout a career and you try also not to have it happen to yourself. It’s a reminder how quick it goes, of course. I’m happy I get another chance for another match here. I worked very hard and in the end I enjoyed myself out here today. It was great fun until the end, obviously.”
Federer was far from his best but was encouraged by his performance towards the end of the match.
“I tried to cut down the length of points a little bit,” said Federer. “I thought he found a nice groove from the baseline.
“He’s famous with that shovel backhand, he creates a lot of problems for so many players and he did the same again on the grass today against me. That’s why I tried to maybe cut down on the length of points a little bit and it worked well. Once I got the break obviously I was able to maybe loosen up a little bit and then everything ended.
“At the end, look, it was a very up and down match overall I thought. Both wrestling, trying to figure out who could enjoy the baseline a little bit more than the other. I felt I had to adjust my game more than he had to and that’s credit to him, of course.”