By Pritha Sarkar
LONDON (Reuters) – There were plenty of records for Roger Federer to savor on Tuesday as he began his pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title, but he was denied a chance to celebrate them in style as his first round match ended abruptly midway through the second set.
Trailing 3-6 0-3 30-30, Alexandr Dolgopolov drew a chorus of dejected sighs on Centre Court as he walked up to the net to shake hands with Federer.
It was the second successive anticlimactic ending on tennis’s most famous stage after Novak Djokovic’s opponent, Martin Klizan also called it quits midway through their second set.
Federer’s encounter against Ukrainian Dolgopolov lasted a mere 43 minutes.
Fans who had poured in to see the Swiss master in action witnessed him fire down a 10,000th career ace and chalk up a record 85th win at Wimbledon, surpassing the benchmark he had shared with Jimmy Connors.
By simply playing the first point, Federer also drew level with Fabrice Santoro’s professional era record of playing in a 70th grand slam tournament.
While it is always nice to reach such landmarks, Tuesday’s result is likely to mean only one thing for the 18-times grand slam champion — he is now only six wins away from becoming the first man to hoist the Challenge Cup for an eighth time.
(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Clare Lovell)