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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Monday, 25 June 2007 16:17 UK

Federer eases to opening victory

By Mark Barden at Wimbledon

Roger Federer
The defending champion was seldom troubled by Gabashvili

Roger Federer began his 2007 Wimbledon campaign with an easy win over Teimuraz Gabashvili on a rain-hit opening day.

The Swiss world number one, chasing a fifth straight Wimbledon title, saw off the unseeded Russian 6-3 6-2 6-4.

When play began after an hour and 40 minutes delay, Federer broke for 5-2 then served out to take the first set.

After two more breaks, he clinched the second with an ace and, with Gabashvili getting frustrated by his own mistakes, broke at the start of the third.

Federer's game wasn't without errors and rustiness following his lay-off since losing in the French Open final to Rafael Nadal.

I'm not superstitious like some players, so missing Halle was not a problem for me

Roger Federer on his Wimbledon build-up

But he was never threatened on his own serve by the world number 86 and simply shrugged off Gabashvili's occasional patches of good play.

Federer said the match had helped to allay any fears he had after opting to miss this year's pre-Wimbledon grass court event in Halle, Germany.

"I was a bit worried beforehand, but I've got such a lot of confidence and experience on grass that I always expect to play good matches," he said.

"I was pretty pleased, my performance was solid. He played a decent match and I had to come up with some shots once in a while."

Federer confirmed that the lack of a roof on Centre Court, while it is replaced with a retractable cover, has altered its playing characteristics.

"There was definitely a breeze from one end, which is similar to other places we play but not something I'm used to here. But it's work in progress and we're all looking forward to seeing it completed."

Andy Roddick
Roddick was Wimbledon runner-up in 2004 and 2005

Third seed Andy Roddick joined Federer in the second round with a 6-1 7-5 7-6 (7-3) win over US compatriot Justin Gimelstob on Court One.

The Queen's Club champion looked to be on course for an easy victory after a one-sided first set, but Gimelstob dug deep, particularly in the third, to give him a good early test.

"It was a weird match because I felt like the best set I played was the toughest one," said Roddick.

"I started to kind of find my rhythm on my returns a little bit in the third set, and yet did not have a lot to show for it there for the majority of it."

The match also featured Wimbledon's first Hawk-Eye challenge - a failed attempt by Gimelstob to reverse the decision to call one of his serves out during the first set.

606: DEBATE

Elsewhere, 17th seed David Ferrer beat Argentina's Sergio Roitman in straight sets 6-3 6-3 6-1, while France's Paul-Henri Mathieu saw off Radek Stepanek 7-6 6-2 6-2.

And 13th seed Tommy Haas also enjoyed a comfortable opening match, beating American Zach Fleishman 6-3 6-4 6-2.



see also
Federer v Gabashvili as it happened
25 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Borg on Federer
24 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Wimbledon order of play
24 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Men's Wimbledon draw
22 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Australian Open women's draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Injured Murray out of Wimbledon
24 Jun 07 |  Tennis


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