Federer surpasses Connors' Wimbledon record after Dolgopolov retirement
Roger Federer broke the record for the most men's singles victories at Wimbledon after Alexandr Dolgopolov retired hurt from their first-round match.
The Swiss jointly held the benchmark with the great Jimmy Connors and was leading 6-3 3-0 before Dolgopolov succumbed to an ankle injury, which left Federer with the outright record.
Dolgopolov's retirement was met with a disgruntled response from the Centre Court crowd, who had already witnessed the previous match between Novak Djokovic and Martin Klizan end prematurely due to a calf injury for the latter.
Federer, who began his 70th Grand Slam to equal Fabrice Santoro's Open-era record, is the favourite at SW19 having enjoyed a resurgent year that saw him win the Australian Open, while he triumphed at the recent Gerry Weber Open without dropping a set.
The Swiss broke in game one when Dolgopolov netted a backhand, and a double fault from the Ukrainian in game nine handed Federer the first set.
Federer raced into a 3-0 lead in the second with Dolgopolov struggling and his opponent decided he could no longer continue.
"It feels great to be back on Centre Court. I was hoping he was feeling better today but he's had a rough one this year and had to pull out a lot of matches," Federer said.
"I'm happy to be back and getting another win here is great news, so I'm very happy. Just because I haven't played the clay-court season doesn't make me the favourite. You'd think Rafa [Nadal] would be feeling good about his chances, the same for [Andy] Murray, same for [Novak] Djokovic.
"I'm happy to be here and that was my big goal that I would be back here healthy and I made it, so I already achieved my dream. We'll see how far I can go."
The 35-year-old Federer – beaten by Milos Raonic in last year's semis – now faces now faces Stefanos Tsitsipas or Dusan Lajovic in round two as he chases a more important milestone - a record eighth Wimbledon title.