Federer and Djokovic toyed with practice match after withdrawals

World number one Angelique Kerber is among the favourites to make it to this year's Wimbledon final

Wimbledon first-round losers pocket more than double the £14,500 offered five years ago. It would be his 85th.

85 - record number of match wins for Federer, going past the previous best of 84 which he shared with Jimmy Connors.

Not that his first match this year was, on paper, a straightforward one. "I was absolutely thrilled that (I) was going to be on Centre Court, and then for that to happen, it was like, 'I might never get to come here again'".

A break in the opening game helped her reach 3-0 in the first set against the 247th-ranked Falconi and even if the American pulled one break back, Kerber held on. Only Ivo Karlovic and Goran Ivanisevic have hit more. Federer also matched Frenchman Fabrice Santoro's 70 Grand Slam appearances.

The patient crowd had already had to digest the altogether more problematic exit of Martin Klizan, who hobbled off after 40 minutes against Djokovic favouring his calf - but not in visibly worse condition than when he started. After medical consultation, he decided he could not continue.

The retirements prompted boos on Centre Court, while Tomic's behaviour angered former pros commentating on the London tennis tournament. Both men have had injury-blighted careers with del Potro pushed to the brink of retirement through a wrist injury while Kokkinakis has battled a long-standing shoulder problem.

Djokovic faced Martin Kližan in the first round on Tuesday. "The last two years, nothing motivates".

However, Dolgopolov and Tipsarevic insisted that they were not playing just for money. Just as important, it gives the paying public a complete, competitive match. Denis Istomin and Viktor Troicki followed suit before Klizan, Dolgopolov, Janko Tipsarevic and Queen's Club champion Feliciano Lopez also quit.

Both Federer and Djokovic, both politically astute and articulate, were in favour of extending the same rules across the board.

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"If something is tweaked here or there and you feel like you can give it a decent go without hurting yourself, I think they should stay out there and I think you owe it to the fans. It was a good match from both of us and it is always good to have a hard match in the first round". Only the player can answer really. The new rule that the ATP has reinforced allows players who have made it to the grand-slam main draw to get what they deserve, but on the other hand it allows someone else to play if they can.

It depends by a lot of factors, mainly by how you feel. "Now we'll see how far I can go". "Now you're thrown in the same basket, so that's rough". Nevertheless, it would still be a much more satisfactory situation if the financial temptation to play when you have a serious injury was not there.

"Clearly I was hoping that Alexandr was feeling better today but he's had a rough one this year". Could be rain, come back the next day.

Federer said: "A player should not go on court if he knows he should not finish". "Maybe the slams should have a look at what they could do for the players to make it just a little bit easier". "I support that kind of rule".

"This tournament has a special place in players' careers". "Wimbledon is my last tournament this season", Minella, whose baby is due by the end of this year, said.

"I feel for the crowd".

"So I personally think they are well within their rights. I'm sure they tried their best, but it is what it is".

7 - match points saved by Australia's Arina Rodionova in her three-set win over 16th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russian Federation.

The stark contrast between Federer and any gifted but lesser player becomes obvious from the earliest exchanges.


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