Roger Federer Defeats Dusan Lajovic in Straight Sets at 2018 Wimbledon

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 02:  Roger Federer of Switzerland returns to Dusan Lajovic of Serbia during their Men's Singles first round match on day one of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 2, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Roger Federer began his campaign for a ninth Wimbledon title in fine fashion as he crushed Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round on Centre Court on Monday.

Opening the tournament as the defending champion, you could have blinked and missed Federer as he beat the world No. 58 in 79 minutes. 

It was a phenomenal display from the 36-year-old, who was almost unplayable at times and well and truly lived up to his tag of pre-tournament favourite.

Federer will endure tougher tests as the tournament progresses, but he could hardly have asked for a better opener as he looks to win a 21st Grand Slam title. He'll face either Lukas Lacko or Benjamin Bonzi in his second-round match.

Federer strode out on to Centre Court on Monday sporting a new sponsor on his kit:

Stuart Fraser @stu_fraser

Roger Federer announces his new Uniqlo deal by walking out on Centre Court with the Japanese company's clothing on. His Nike contract came to an end in March. #Wimbledon

But there was nothing different about his tennis on the grass of SW19, where he has been the dominant force for 15 years.

Lajovic managed to hold his serve in the opening game of the match, but that was as good is it got for the Serb.

Federer duly won six games on the bounce to wrap up the opening set in just 20 minutes.

His shot-making was exquisite; a whipped, running forehand down the line to set up the first of his set points was indicative of just how well he was playing.

Federer took the set at the fourth opportunity, after another stunning passing shot, by landing a forehand winner dead on the baseline.

Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times provided some remarkable statistics from the opener:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Roger Federer takes the first set 6-1 over Lajovic. Made 96% of returns, won 89% of first serve points. Maybe Nike was holding him back all these years? #Wimbledon

Things didn't get easier for 28-year-old Lajovic as he lost the first three games of the second set before finally getting another hold.

It was a mere blip for Federer, as the Swiss legend continued to utterly dominate with some fantastic net play and clinical serving, and he brought up his first set point in the second at 5-2 ahead.

Serbia's Dusan Lajovic returns to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their men's singles first round match on the first day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 2, 2018. (Photo by
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

To his credit, Lajovic saved the break point and held to force Federer to serve out the set. But there was never going to be any comeback, and the eight-time champion inevitably produced an ace to move 2-0 ahead before the hour mark.

While Lajovic never even had a sniff of a break throughout the match, he did finally find his groove on his own serve in the third set.

The problem was, though, he only found that form after being broken in the opening game.

As such, Federer always had his nose in front in the third and served out the match at 5-4 ahead, sealing it with a stylish, stinging backhand, which Lajovic could only hit long.