Wimbledon: Roger Federer obliterates Matteo Berrettini to secure quarterfinal place
Can Federer secure his 100th career win at The All-England Club against Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals? (Image source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Roger Federer will contest his 17th quarterfinal at Wimbledon as he trounced Matteo Berrettini, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, in the fourth round at SW19.

In truth, few matches in the career of the eight-time Wimbledon champion will have proved so emphatically straightforward as this, sealed in an hour and 15 minutes with Berrettini, making his Centre Court debut, chuckling in disbelief towards the end. 

Ever the diplomat, the Swiss had the cheek to admit he was still finding his groove, telling the BBC post-match: "I'm still getting used to conditions to an extent.

"I thought it was a really good match for me today, a great performance. It's been a great tournament so far.

“He only hit a few aces and he’s averaging over 130mph, but I’ll take it. It will be interesting to see how I’m going to fare against a stronger baseliner, with fewer aces from my side as well.”

Kei Nishikori, who got the better of the 37-year-old at the ATP Finals across London last year, awaits in the quarter-final having dropped only a single set in his previous four matches.

Federer said about the state of his body after a stress-free week: “Kei [Nishikori] will recovery very easily. Even though five-setters are memorable, iconic and cool to play in, it’s nice for the body to avoid them at all costs.”

Berrettini was competing in his first Grand Slam fourth round (Image source: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Berrettini was competing in his first Grand Slam fourth round (Image source: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

A tennis lesson

The match had been billed as the 20-time major winner’s sternest test of the tournament, with Berrettini having recorded 11 wins on grass this season. The Italian triumphed at the Stuttgart Open last month and reached the semi-finals in Federer’s second holiest kingdom in Halle.

It was, however, anything but. There was a moment in the third game of the third set when Federer connected with a return so sweetly that it tricked Berrettini when it grazed the baseline. The Italian, attempting to return a ball that was selfishly refusing to move, lost his footing and swiped at mid-air. He felt obliged to join the Centre Court crowd in a self-depreciating giggle.

By then the 23-year-old was a double break down in set three, playing merely to restore pride. The previous two sets had raced by in 47 short minutes.

Berrettini had, in fact, held comfortably to love in his opening two games, but that five minute passage of play was the height of his achievements, quickly unravelling as Federer pounced on the Italian’s serve.

18 minutes was all it took for the Swiss to seal the opening set and those who were expecting at least a modicum of resistance from the Italian in the second set were left short-changed. Federer immediately broke after three games, disrupting any rhythm Berrettini was hoping to manufacture with those trademark diets of chips and slices.

As if to compound the 23-year-old’s misery – his worst nightmare manifesting itself infront of the paying public inside Wimbledon’s primary show court – he swung and missed at a ball as Federer consolidated the break in set two. It bore all the hallmarks of a circus.

Federer, ever the gentleman, soon put the youngster out of his misery.