Roger Federer, former world No. 1 and eight-time Wimbledon champion, enjoyed a bit of fortune while advancing to the second round after his French opponent Adrian Mannarino retired due to injury at the end of the fourth set with scores level at two sets apiece.
The 39-year-old, who has won 20 Grand Slam titles, bagged the first set 6-4 before losing the next two 6-7(3) and 3-6. He came back to win the fourth 6-2 in games that lasted two hours and 44 minutes.
World No. 41 Mannarino, who was able to get through to the fourth set with the injury before pulling out, had slipped behind the baseline which led to the injury. He also received on-court treatment on the knee.
“It is awful. It shows that one shot can change the outcome of a match, a season, a career,” said Federer after the match.
“I wish him all the best and I hope he recovers quickly so we see him back on the courts. He could have won the match in the end. Obviously, he was the better player, so I definitely got a bit lucky,” added Federer.
Federer, who currently ranked eighth in the world, is eyeing his 21st Grand Slam title to go clear of Rafael Nadal, who too has won 20 Grand Slam titles.
“You do not get many walkovers throughout a career and you try also not to have it happen to yourself. It is a reminder how quickly it goes. But of course, I am obviously happy I can get another chance for another match here. I worked very hard and at the end I enjoyed myself out here today. It was great fun until the end, obviously,” he said at the Centre Court.