Federer starts Wimbledon campaign in style

June 23rd, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 23 (DPA) Roger Federer stormed to his 60th consecutive victory on grass as he crushed Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to begin the quest for a sixth straight title at the Wimbledon Championships Monday. The Swiss top seed won the first 11 points of the contest against the Slovak veteran, ranked 272 after shoulder and elbow surgery.

In his last gasp, Hrbaty lightened the mood as he went and sat beside Federer for an unorthodox quick chat at the changeover after stopping the rot of five consecutive losing games, 2-5 in the third.

One game later after one hour, 19 minutes, Federer advanced into a match with Swede Robin Soderling.

“It was a special moment for him, he said it might be last Wimbledon,” explained Federer, last beaten at the All England club in 2002.

“He wanted to enjoy it and asked if he could sit by me. Of course, I said OK.

The 30-year-old Hrbaty was one of the handful of player who hold a winning record over the world number one, beating a teenaged Federer in 2000 and again in 2004 before the Swiss achieved world-class domination.

Federer is bidding to silence the doubters after losing a third straight French Open final to Rafael Nadal, the second seed who has played the last two Wimbledon finals against his rival.

“I could’t ask for a better start,” said Federer, 39-4 at Wimbledon. “I was consistent all the way and did not face a break point.

“I’ve not lost my serve so far this summer on grass (after winning the Halle title). It’s tough opening as the first match but it could not have gone better for me.

Federer called his second-round match against Soderling, who beat American Kevin Kim 7-5, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, “a true test, he’s a tough player and a dangerous player.”

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