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Federer surpasses Connors' Wimbledon record after Dolgopolov retirement

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Roger Federer salutes the Wimbledon crowd
Omnisport
NEWS
Modified 05 Jul 2017
News

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. 

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"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.

Published 04 Jul 2017, 21:55 IST
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