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Federer v Gicquel as it happened

Men's singles third round result:

R FEDERER (Swi) 1 v M Gicquel (Fra)

6-3 6-3 6-1

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By Ben Dirs at Wimbledon

THIRD SET

Federer 6-1 Gicquel
Gicquel gets a net-cord that goes against him and Federer makes it three match points with a backhand volley. And that's the match, Federer sending down a hammer serve which Gicquel is unable to handle. Federer through to the fourth round, and won't see him again until Monday. Only took one hour 22 minutes and you never felt Federer was extended, but it's always a privilege to see the great man twirl away.

Federer 5-1 Gicquel
I get the distinct impression that if the fat lady was singing, Gicquel would still be swinging. He outlasts Federer in a marathon rally to make it 30-30, but Federer then pulls out a crackerjack backhand pass before finishing the game with a forehand winner. The end is nigh...

Federer 4-1 Gicquel
The weather looking a little bit moody all of a sudden and Federer will be looking to get this in the bag before the rain returns. Peach of a backhand that to make it 15-15, Federer flashing it down the line, but Gicquel rushes to the net and punches home a forehand volley to make it 15-30. Federer, great player that he is, pulls out two more hammer serves before sealing the game with another. Gicquel badly winded and just waiting to be nudged over.

Federer 3-1 Gicquel
Gicquel plonks a forehand long and makes it 0-30 with a tired-looking forehand into the net. But just as it looks like he's about to melt, he finds a wicked, dipping backhand pass that Federer is unable to deal with. Some jack-hammer groundstrokes from Federer set up another two break points, and Federer outlasts his opponent to seal another break.

Federer 2-1 Gicquel
Really struggling to keep up here, these service games just racing by. Another lusty serve causes Gicquel's racquet to twist in his hand and the ball lands safely, for Federer, into the base of the net.

"Giquel has shown why he has managed to break into the top 100. It is an A-minus Federer today - not an A or an A+ but good enough." John McEnroe in the BBC commentary box.

Federer 1-0 Gicquel
Gicquel crashes down his fourth ace of the match so far and makes it 40-15 with a 130mph serve. He serves, as they say in cricket, a heavy ball. And that's a comfortable hold from Gicquel which will settle the nerves no end.

Federer 1-0 Gicquel
Federer with another straightforward service hold and he is really coasting towards the fourth round now...

SECOND SET

Federer 6-3 Gicquel
Federer attacks the net and punches home a forehand volley to make it 15-30, but he follows up with a rare fluffed forehand. Gicquel goes long with a forehand to hand Federer a set point, but some heavy hitting forces Federer into a backhand error. Well played Gicquel, keeping his eye on a steepler and putting away the overhead, but it's deuce again after he makes a hash of another volley. He doesn't like it up at the net, and Federer catches him out again to set up another set point, whipping a top-spin forehand into his toes. Gicquel hammers down an ace on the next point but then sends a backhand lob long - another set point, and Federer needs no more invitations, fizzing a forehand past the grasping Frenchman. A chat about sandwiches just served up the following quote from a colleague: "Salad cream? That's council house people's mayonnaise..." That's the most snobbish thing I've heard since Alan Clarke said of Michael Heseltine, "he's the type of man who buys his own furniture".

Federer 5-3 Gicquel
The wind kicking up as Gicquel makes possibly the worst-judged challenge of all time - that shot from Federer was in by about three foot. Another comfortable service hold from the Swiss, in fact he could only look more comfortable at the moment if he was playing in his dressing gown.

Federer 4-3 Gicquel
Gicquel shows his mettel to move into a 40-0 lead on serve, but Federer gets the better of him on the next point, flipping a top-spin backhand off the frame of the flailing Frenchman. Gicquel, however, powers down a big one to hold. Each player accompanied by a shadow now on court, the weather perking up.

Federer 4-2 Gicquel
Federer manages to pick up a forehand off the back foot to make it 30-0 and goes on to hold serve in super-quick fashion. Federer going through Gicquel like a frozen curry at the moment.

Federer 3-2 Gicquel
A more comfortable service game from Gicquel, which he wins to 15 courtesy of some well-directed serves. The weather holding out, I think I'll have another coconut ring.

Federer 3-1 Gicquel
Smashing backhand that from Gicquel, sending Federer the wrong way with a little jab down the line. Federer makes it 15-30 with his fifth ace so far, and he makes it 30-30 with a comfortable forehand winner from the middle of the court. Gicquel wins the next point, but Federer pulls out a plum of a serve on break point. Federer fires down his sixth ace and then unfurls another big one to take the game. Gicquel really hanging on by his fingernails now, I strongly suspect they may be ripped off over the next half an hour as Federer moves through the gears.

Federer 2-1 Gicquel
Federer really climbing into his groundstrokes now and Gicquel's racquet seems to buckle under one of his meaty forehands. However, Gicquel holds his nerve and does manage to hold serve. Like a playground victim managing to land a desperate kick to the shins, he badly needed that.

Federer 2-0 Gicquel
Federer looking peerless now, and he finishes off another comfortable service hold with a whip-cracked backhand down the line.

Federer 1-0 Gicquel
Federer really beginning to climb all over Gicquel now. The Frenchman dollies a forehand into the net before Federer makes it 0-30 with a solid overhead. Gicquel makes it 15-40 with a woolly old forehand that lands well wide and then appears to be pulling a fridge behind the baseline as a sliced backhand from Federer dies in front of him. Game Federer.

"Marc Gicquel should be an inspiration for all those players who toiled in those satellites and were willing to push their bodies and minds to get an opportunity like this - to play the greatest player who ever lived on Wimbledon Centre Court. You have got to think based on his ranking that this is the best he has ever played." John McEnroe in the BBC commentary box.

FIRST SET

Federer 6-3 Gicquel
A very straightforward service hold from Federer, sealed with his fourth ace so far. That first set took 32 minutes and there was nothing in it to suggest that Federer will be made to sweat much this afternoon. Unless he puts that cardigan back on again.

Federer 5-3 Gicquel
That's quite simply magnificent from Federer, wrapping his racquet round the ball and looping a top spin-forehand past the advancing Gicquel. Federer attacks the net and punches a forehand volley home, but Gicquel saves one set point after Rog finds the net with a backhand. Gicquel grabs the advantage, seizing on a Federer mis-hit and thumping a forehand home, but it's deuce again after another unforced error on the forehand. Federer fluffs a forehand to give Gicquel another advantage, and this time he holds to save the set. This is one Frenchman who is no cheese-eating surrender monkey.

Federer 5-2 Gicquel
The rain having an effect there, the ball skudding away from Gicquel off the surface, and that's a straightforward service save from the world number one. Federer, after that early hitch, has now got Gicquel by the jaffers - look for him to apply the squeeze.

Federer 4-2 Gicquel
Some deep, searching groundstrokes from Federer allow him to come to the net again and he sends home a winning volley on the forehand. Federer tempts Gicquel in with a sliced approach and the Frenchman flops his backhand into the net to hand Federer two break points. Federer misses the sideline with a sliced backhand on the next point before being outmuscled on the next point, putting a tame backhand into the net. Gicquel loses the next point and is broken again after having Federer in trouble, missing with another forehand volley. He doesn't look much cop at the net this lad.

Federer 3-2 Gicquel
Not particularly convincing so far from Federer as he goes 15-30 down on serve and it should have been 15-40, Gicquel giving Federer the runaround before muffing a forehand volley with his opponent off the court. Federer wins the next point before making a foray to the net and punching home a backhand volley to win the game.

Federer 2-2 Gicquel
Best rally of the match so far ends with Gicquel whipping an attempted top-spin lob long. Gicquel follows with another unforced error, hitting a forehand into the net, and hands Federer another break point, squirting an attempted drop shot wide. Gicquel dredges up a solid serve to save and wins the game with a forehand that clips the top of the net and leaves Federer stranded.

"Ben, paninis may be expensive in SW19 but I paid a tenner for a pint of Pimms in W14 (Queens Club) a couple of weeks ago. And it's mostly lemonade. Outrageous." Adam via text to 81111

Federer 2-1 Gicquel
Federer races into a 40-0 lead before gently plonking a backhand into the net. But that's normal service resumed, Federer sealing the game with an ace.

Federer 1-1 Gicquel
Gicquel plops a ropey old forehand into the net to hand Federer a break point, but Federer whips an attempted forehand pass well wide. Gicquel gives Federer another opportunity with his first double fault and the Frenchman hands Federer the game with a wild pushed forehand. Roger breaks back, a sign of a great player.

Federer 0-1 Gicquel
Federer to serve first and a couple of ropey second serves hand Gicquel two early breaks. Gicquel fizzes a forehand past the stationary Federer to make it 15-40 before Federer saves the first break point with an ace that arcs away from Gicquel's forehand. But that's the break, and that's a very ordinary start from the defending champion.

1437: Gicquel made his Wimbledon debut last year and lost in the first round to Jan Hernych. Apparently, he's the third oldest bloke left in the men's draw. And they're off...

1433: Here come Roger and Marc and the day has suddenly turned into an absolute doozy. Federer, in his chunky cable-knit cardigan, may think he looks like he's just stepped off the set of The Great Gatsby but he actually looks like a European aristocrat who's been invited to his gardener's barbeque and told to dress 'casual'. Actually, it's probably the kind of thing Raef off of The Apprentice might wear - a corporate rounders match.

1425: Right, we've got a sun-bathed Centre Court now and players will be knocking up at 1430 BST... get involved... "I don't know what Ivanovic even looks like," says a mate who has just popped his head in, as his girlfriend looks on susipiciously...

1326: Brollies start unfurling like mushrooms in a dewy field and we're ruddy well off again...this country's rubbish...

1325: I've had my feet up indoors all week, watching the best opening to a Wimbledon weather-wise since Dan Maskell was in nappies, and as soon as I rock up it starts lobbing it down. And it's not exactly warm out there, and we've got a bit of a bluster on. Sorry, I'll stop moaning now...HAVE YOU SEEN HOW MUCH A CHEESE AND TOMATO PANINI COSTS AT THIS PLACE? On the plus side, SW19 still looks pretty as a peach...

We've only actually had a 30 minute delay and first up on Centre Court it's Big Rog versus the French number eight, Marc Gicquel. Gicquel may not be a household name, but he's certainly no mug, with a world ranking of 53. The 31-year-old beat Richard Gasquet and Guillermo Canas last week at the s-Hertogenbosch grass court event in Holland before finishing runner-up. He also came back from two sets down to beat Ilia Bozoljac in five sets on Wednesday, saving one match point, so he's a nuggety little blighter as well.




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