Roger Federer survived a huge scare to reach the Wimbledon second round on Tuesday when French opponent Adrian Mannarino was forced to retire injured at the start of the fifth set.
Eight-time champion Federer was level at 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 6-2 when Mannarino called it quits after just one point in the decider.
The Frenchman, celebrating his 33rd birthday, suffered a bad fall in the seventh game of the fourth set. Despite taking treatment from the trainer, he was hardly able to move and grimacing in pain had to retire.
Just five weeks shy of his 40th birthday, Federer faces fellow veteran Richard Gasquet, who beat Yuichi Sugita, for a place in the last 32. Federer fired 16 aces and 54 winners on Tuesday but will be concerned by committing 45 unforced errors.
Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev survived a tricky opener too, getting past Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany with a 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3) win.
“I was a bit surprised by the first two sets that I managed to win so easy, that’s why Grand Slams are funny,” said Medvedev.
Earlier, Germany’s Alexander Zverev eased into the second round beating Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in just 89 minutes.
The 24-year-old French Open semi-finalist had lost to qualifiers at Wimbledon on two occasions – Ernests Gulbis in the third round in 2018 and to Jiri Vesely in the first round in 2019 – but he made no mistake this time round.
Not even a 15 minute break so the Court One roof could be closed due to rain upset the fourth seed’s rhythm.
Zverev, who pounded down 20 aces, will play the winner of the match between American Tennys Sandgren, ranked 68, and 94th-ranked Norbert Gombos of Slovakia.
However a rain-hit day meant 27 singles matches had to be deferred to Wednesday and men’s doubles matches will be the best of three sets in the first and second rounds as organisers try to get the schedule back on track.
Benoit Paire was warned for not trying as the controversial French player made such a tame exit that a fan screamed: “Stop wasting our time”.
Paire went down to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 loss to Diego Schwartzman in a match carried over from Monday with the Argentine two sets up.
The third set took just 15 minutes to complete with umpire Mohamed Lahyani warning world number 46 Paire to try harder.
Paire accused Lahyani of being “over-zealous” and that the stage of the match meant “there was nothing to be done”.
As he dumped two forehands into the net, a fan sitting close to him, screamed: “Stop wasting our time!”
Paire made the last 16 at Wimbledon in 2019 and had not been beaten in the first round since 2014.
Sebastian Korda clinched his maiden win on debut, knocking out 15th-ranked Alex de Minaur of Australia.
The 20-year-old, whose father Petr was the 1998 Australian Open champion, hit 10 aces and 44 winners to defeat De Minaur 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5) and will face either Zhang Zhizhen of China or France’s Antoine Hoang for a place in the last 32.
Korda, ranked 50 in the world, arrived in London on the back of a quarter-final run at Halle and a first career title in Parma.
Alexander Zverev (GER x4) bt Tallon Griekspoor (NED) 6-3, 6-4, 6-1
Sebastian Korda (USA) bt Alex De Minaur (AUS x15) 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5)
Diego Schwartzman (ARG x9) bt Benoît Paire (FRA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-0
Fabio Fognini (ITA x26) bt Albert Ramos Vinolas (ESP) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-4
Dan Evans (GBR x22) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 7-5
Lloyd Harris (RSA) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)
Egor Gerasimov (BLR) bt Jay Clarke (GBR) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) bt Daniel Masur (GER) 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Antoine Hoang (FRA) bt Zhang Zhizhen (CHN) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-2
Denis Shapovalov (CAN x10) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
Roger Federer (SUI x6) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 6-2 – retired
Richard Gasquet (FRA) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
With AFP Inputs