Roger Federer cruised to the quarter-final of the 2015 Wimbledon Open on Monday in London, wasting little energy against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut. The latter was already down big when he suffered an ankle injury midway through the second set, and he would eventually lose to the Swiss veteran in straight sets: 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
Federer was as cool as ever, never handing his opponent a single break chance on his way to perhaps his easiest win of the tournament.
As explained in the official preview of Monday's action, Federer dropped his first set of the tournament in his previous round, although he was still a big favourite over Bautista Agut:
From the opening exchange, it was clear the Spaniard was no match for Federer. The seven-time Wimbledon champion played flawless tennis, dominating with his serve and easily taking control of the rallies.
In no time whatsoever, he broke Bautista Agut's serve and continued his rampage, running out to a 5-2 lead, as noted by BBC Sport:
He wasted little energy converting his break chances and timed his runs to the net beautifully, not giving his opponent any chance to step into the court.
After a quick first set, tennis writer Chris Goldsmith kept his comments brief:
The second set played out in similar fashion, and things went from bad to worse for Bautista Agut. During a rally, he seemed to lose his footing and twist his ankle, sending him crashing to the grass down 3-2 and a break.
A trainer came out to give the Spaniard treatment, but other than placing some ice around the injured ankle, there was little to be done. Journalist Mark Pougatch suggested he just give up:
To his credit, Bautista Agut soldiered on, but Federer kept the court as wide as possible and forced him to move, which only caused more pain. The next three games didn't last long, as the Swiss veteran took a two-set lead, and his opponent requested the assistance of the trainer again.
This time, he had his ankle wrapped in several layers of tape, and that at least seemed to help a bit, as the Spaniard managed to hold his serve in the opening game of the first set.
Meanwhile, on the No. 1 Court, Novak Djokovic was down a set and a break to Kevin Anderson, and the Guardian's Jacob Steinberg wondered whether Federer knew:
Federer didn't rush things in the third set, taking his chances when Bautista Agut presented them. FedExpress found his break midway through the set and didn't go chasing winners, keeping his play simple with wide serves and deep shots with plenty of spin in the rallies.
Up 5-3, he managed a final break to win the match and book his spot in the next round, where he'll face No. 12 seed Gilles Simon, who shocked Tomas Berdych in the fourth round. It will be Federer's 45th Grand Slam quarter-final appearance and Simon's second.
BBC Tennis couldn't help themselves:
Federer was phenomenal on Monday, and while Bautista Agut's injury certainly helped, it's unlikely the match would have had a different outcome without it. With Simon beating Berdych, the path to the semi-final and a record eighth Wimbledon title is suddenly wide open.
The veteran's play has been magnificent on every level, but his serve in particular has stood out. As shared by FiveThirtyEight's Carl Bialik, Federer cracked a joke when he was asked why it seems no one can break him right now:
Simon shouldn't be underestimated following his fine fourth-round effort, after winning in three short sets. But he should be no match for an in-form Federer, who is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.