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Faultless Federer Prevails Under The Roof

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer made just five unforced errors in a polished display against Gilles Muller.

In a match that finished under the Centre Court roof on Thursday evening, Roger Federer defeated Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the third round at The Championships.

Play was suspended temporarily at 4-3 in the second set as a persistent drizzle forced organisers to close the roof. At the resumption, Federer wrapped up victory in one hour and 34 minutes. The Swiss fired 25 aces and committed just five unforced errors. In a near-faultless serving display, he won 91 per cent of points on his first serve and did not face a break point.

"Against a player like this you're more dependent on the serve and return and first couple of shots, so it doesn't change much against a player like him," said Federer of the closed roof. "Today I thought it was cooler with the roof open, and then footing and tactics, I didn't change anything from before and after."

On each occasion that he has beaten Muller during a tournament, Federer has gone on to win the title. They were facing each other for the first time since the 2008 US Open quarter-finals, with Federer improving to a 4-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Muller.

"Oh, really? Ohh. Are you sure?" Federer asked, with a laugh, when told during the post-match press conference. "I'll go check it out. I'm happy to hear that. 

"I'm very happy with the match today because I knew it could have been difficult. And we saw signs of it I think midway through the second set when I think for four straight games I didn't see much on his serve. Then actually the rain delay kind of changed things around. I came out and I was a bit more clear of how I was going to return him."

The 32-year-old Federer is bidding to win an unprecedented eighth title at the All England Club. The Swiss has a 69-8 tournament record, winning the title in 2003-’07, ’09 and ’12. His 17th and most recent Grand Slam championship came two years ago on the lawns of Wimbledon, with victory over Andy Murray.

Play on the outside courts was suspended for the day in the early evening due to rain. Last year’s semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz was leading 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 4-4, while the match between Marcel Granollers and Santiago Giraldo was suspended three games into the fifth set. The match between Feliciano Lopez and Ante Pavic did not make it onto court.

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