The Swiss maestro, Roger Federer, might have lost the first set he played at the Championships Wimbledon this year, but, since then, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has looked serene and dominant, dictating terms against his young opponents Lloyd Harris and Jay Clarke, in the opening couple of rounds at the All England Club.
Federer made easy work of Clarke in his second-round clash, overcoming the British teenager in just one hour and thirty seven minutes and will meet the unpredictable Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a round-of-32 encounter at SW19.
The semi-finalist at the Australian Open earlier this year, Pouille has cruised through his opening couple of rounds at Wimbledon as well, overcoming Richard Gasquet and Gregoire Barrere in comfortable straight-set victories.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion will face his first challenging and tricky test at this year’s Wimbledon in the form of Pouille.
Interestingly, Federer and Pouille have faced each other just once in the past, with the Swiss maestro recording a comprehensive 6-4, 6-4 victory over his, then, 20-year old opponent at the ATP Masters 1000 Paris.
The 25-year old Frenchman, who started 2019 on a sensational note with an appearance in his first ever Grand Slam semi-final at Melbourne, has not been able to maintain the same intensity and consistency that we witnessed down under.
Against Federer, on grass, at Wimbledon on the Center Court, Pouille is about to play perhaps one of the biggest matches of his career so far and would dearly hope to replicate the feat that he achieved at the US Open in 2016 when he defeated Rafael Nadal in five dramatic sets in their 4th-round tie.
Federer, on the other hand, would be looking forward to staying in the hunt for an unprecedented ninth Wimbledon title and would aim to fend off any challenges that the 25-year old Frenchman has to offer.
After a rather successful season on clay and a title triumph at Halle, the Swiss maestro has looked in top form for quite a while now without any evident shortcomings or moments of doubt following his debacle at Melbourne earlier this year and starts as the firm favorite against Pouille.
Can Federer cruise through the Pouille challenge unscathed, or will the Frenchman show some resilience to arrest his slide in the ongoing grass season to stun the 20-time Grand Slam champ?
We can’t wait to witness how the drama unfolds on the Center Court.