Roger Federer stormed into the quarterfinals of Wimbledon with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 win over Lorenzo Sonego on Monday. Federer was at his imperious best for most parts of the match, but even when he dropped a gear or two, his level was enough to see off the challenge of the Italian.
The Swiss has now booked his spot in the last eight at SW19 for a record-extending 18th time. He will face either Daniil Medvedev or Hubert Hurkacz there; that fourth-round match has been postponed to Tuesday because of rain.
On that note, here is a look at the three biggest talking points from Federer's win:
1) A timely rain delay proved to be pivotal for Roger Federer in the 1st set
Roger Federer served for the opening set at 5-4, but lost his serve against the run of play. Reeled off 10 points in a row, Lorenzo Sonego was one point away from making it 6-5 in his favor.
But the Italian couldn't convert game point, as some dogged resistance from Federer kept him alive and brought the score to deuce. The two then exchanged game points and break points before the rain came pouring down.
Play was halted at 5-5 40-A, with Sonego facing a break point. This was a crucial moment in the match as it allowed Federer to regain his composure while also arresting the momentum that Sonego had built up.
When play resumed, the Italian served a double fault to hand Federer the break of serve, which he eventually consolidated. The 20-minute rain break seemed to have affected Sonego's rhythm, which in hindsight proved to be the turning point of the match.
2) Roger Federer has equaled Rafael Nadal's record of most wins at a single Slam
Roger Federer registered his 105th match win at Wimbledon with his victory over Sonego. That brings him level with Rafael Nadal's tally of 105 wins at Roland Garros, which is the highest by any male player at a single Slam in the Open Era.
Admittedly, Nadal has a far higher win percentage in Paris than Federer has at Wimbledon. But the latter has a chance to make the record his own when he takes the court on Wednesday to play his quarterfinal match against either Daniil Medvedev or Hubert Hurkacz.
3) Roger Federer is gradually increasing his net approach frequency with every match
Charging the net has been one of Roger Federer's go-to tactics at Wimbledon over the years. And many believe it is even more vital now than earlier, given that his foot speed has reduced considerably with age.
Against Lorenzo Sonego, the Swiss went up to the net a whopping 46 times, which amounts to 25% of the total points played in the match. Federer won the point on 29 of those occasions, which means he had a 63% success rate when he tried to keep the point short.
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Federer's frequency of approaching the net against Adrian Mannarino, Richard Gasquet and Cameron Norrie were 14%, 13% and 15% respectively. This figure is likely to rise even further as the Swiss goes into the business end of the tournament, where longer rallies could prove to be his undoing.