Ruthless Roger Federer raced into his 17th Wimbledon quarterfinal with a 6-1 6-2 6-2 demolition of Matteo Berrettini but, contrary to what the scoreline suggests, this did not require a masterclass from the Swiss great.
In truth, a match that on paper looked as if it might provide his first big test of the tournament as he chases a ninth title was a no-contest as his 23-year-old Italian opponent self-destructed on Centre Court on Monday.
Second seed Federer will face eighth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori for a place in the semifinals, after Nishikori beat Mikhail Kukushkin in four sets.
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In later results on Monday, Guido Pella recovered from two sets to love down to beat 2016 Wimbledon Milos Raonic in five. He will play Roberto Bautista Agut, who extended his winning head-to-head record over Benoit Paire to 9-0.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, like Federer, also progressed in straight sets over Ugo Humbert and Joao Sousa respectively, with Nadal setting up a quarterfinal clash with Sam Querrey, a four-set winner over fellow American Tennys Sandgren.
David Goffin beat Fernando Verdasco in four sets to complete the quarterfinal line-up at the All England Club.
From the moment Federer broke in the fourth game with a silky smooth smash, any tactical plan a dazed Berrettini took on court with him unravelled in spectacular fashion.
“Obviously today was excellent. I was very happy. I was expecting a tough match and a close one with not many chances. It was actually quite the opposite, so that was great,” Federer said.
After losing the first set in 17 minutes and the second in not much longer he disappeared off court — presumably to try and locate a panic room somewhere in the All England Club.
When he returned Berrettini found even more unusual ways to gift points to eight-time champion Federer, notably when he dribbled a drop-volley into the net with Federer out of position behind the baseline.
Even the 37-year-old Swiss, anxious to save energy and get off court quickly as dark clouds gathered, looked aghast, shaking his head at the nature of his opponent’s error.
It was a shame for Berrettini, who was hoping to become only the fifth Italian to reach the quarterfinals here, as he is clearly a much better player than this performance suggested.
There was sympathetic applause from the crowd when he did connect properly but Federer was having none of it as a sweet volley put Berrettini out of his misery in one hour 14 minutes.
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