By Nick Harris
21 June 2010
The six-time Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer, has admitted he thought he was going to lose his first-round match today at this year’s tournament after falling two sets down to the Colombian outsider, Alejandro Falla.
At one stage, in arrears by two sets to one and with Falla serving for the match, it looked likely that Federer would be the victim of the biggest upset in Wimbledon history. The odds on a Swiss victory in the match widened as far as 7-2 against, with Falla briefly becoming the 1-3 favourite.
But the Swiss defending champion eventually prevailed in five sets on Centre Court. He said afterwards that he thought he was going to lose “a few times” during the match.
“He played well,” Federer said. “He’s unconventional. He doesn’t look like much, but he definitely plays very solid and plays very uncomfortable. So I knew that from the start. I wasn’t going to underestimate him even though I just beat him 6‑1, 6‑2 in Halle. I think he played terrific. He made it hard for me today . . .
“For me it’s not normal to be down two sets to love, especially at Wimbledon, and early on in Grand Slams. It’s something I’m not quite used to. But still I was able to find a way. That’s most important right now. Doesn’t matter how I felt out there. Didn’t feel great, that’s for sure.”
The biggest shock of the day so far (9pm London time, with other matches ongoing) was the departure of the No11 seed, Croatia’s Marin Cilic, to Germany’s Florian Mayer.
Britain’s Laura Robson, 16, lost on her Centre Court debut in the main event, to the No4 seed, Jelena Jankovic, while Britain’s Andy Murray, will begin his tournament tomorrow, albeit on No1 Court, an odd choice of stage, probably dictated by the complicated demands of broadcasters wanting Rafa Nadal on Centre Court.