Federer shows new look, familiar dominance at Wimbledon

LONDON — New look, same old dominance for Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

The eight-time champion began his title defence in style at the All England Club, brushing aside Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 in 79 minutes on Centre Court.

Lajovic held serve in the opening game but that was as good as it got for the 58th-ranked Serb. Federer reeled off the next nine games to take charge and was in cruise control for the rest of the match.

The 36-year-old Swiss star never faced a break point and showed off the full repertoire of shots that has made him the most successful male player at Wimbledon.

The only things unfamiliar about Federer were his clothes. He wore a Uniqlo outfit for the first time after ending his career-long apparel partnership with Nike. But it clearly had no effect on his game.

“Felt right at home again, so that was a really nice feeling,” he said. “I got the early break in each set and then was able to bring it home. I’m really happy with my focus as well, point-for-point mentality.”

Federer is looking for a record-extending ninth title at the All England Club but only needed to step onto the court to create a bit more history. He is the first man in the Open era to play in the grass-court Grand Slam for a 20th straight year.

Before stepping off the court, he gave his headband to a young female fan in the crowd — and joked he could be giving away a lot more before the fortnight is over.

The girl had held up a sign saying, “Can I have your headband pleeease!!”, and a post-match interviewer pointed out that Federer could expect more requests in coming matches after fulfilling her wishes.

And he’s apparently ready to oblige.

“Yes, they want a watch, a car, a racket, a shirt, they can have it all at this point,” Federer said.

Last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic also advanced easily with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka.

The third-seeded Croatian hit 21 aces and a total of 44 winners — compared to one ace and six winners for Nishioka — to complete victory in 1 hour, 46 minutes.

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., opened with a 7-5, 6-0, 6-1 victory over Britain’s Liam Broady while Peter Polansky, also of Thornhill, dropped his first-round match to Austria’s Dennis Novak.

American Sam Querrey, who lost to Cilic in the semifinals last year, had a similarly comfortable start as he beat Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

In women’s play, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens became the first contender to go out as she lost 6-1, 6-3 to Donna Vekic of Croatia.

The fourth-seeded Stephens produced an error-strewn display on No. 1 Court as she exited in the opening round for a second consecutive year.

Having backed up her 2017 U.S. Open triumph by reaching the French Open final last month, Stephens was considered a title hopeful.

Last year’s semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova also exited, losing 7-5, 6-3 to Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

Just Posted

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

MOSCOW — France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a… Continue reading

New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

BERNALILLO, N.M. — A crash involving a commercial passenger bus and three… Continue reading

Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

BOSTON — A Massachusetts police officer and bystander died Sunday from wounds… Continue reading

Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit

HELSINKI — President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top… Continue reading

Stolen firetruck stopped after wild chase in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police chased a stolen firetruck across four Northern California… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes in B.C.

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month