sport

Federer eases past Muller

There were no second-round hiccups for Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year as he breezed past qualifier Gilles Muller under the Centre Court roof.

Last year Federer suffered his earliest grand slam defeat in a decade when Sergiy Stakhovsky caused one of the great Wimbledon upsets.

Like Stakhovsky, Luxembourg's Muller is a serve-volleyer, but Federer dealt well with the threat this time to win 6-3 7-5 6-3 in front of his parents, who were watching from the Royal Box.

The roof was deployed for the first time this tournament at 4-3 in the second set, with Muller complaining that the grass was becoming slippery before steady rain began to fall.

But it did not help the 31-year-old as Federer wrapped up victory in an hour and 34 minutes.

It was a serve-dominated contest, but Federer was having a lot more success on his opponent's delivery than vice versa and broke for 3-2 and then again to take the opening set.

Muller, who is being coached by Britain's Jamie Delgado, once beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and he hung onto his serve through the second set until Federer broke again in the 12th game.

The Swiss seemed eager to wrap up the match as soon as possible and, after moving 3-1 ahead in the third, clinched victory when Muller placed a forehand wide.

Federer said: "It was really a serving contest out there, I'm happy I made it. The second set was tough with the rain delay, I was not having many looks at his serve."

The 32-year-old took a rare and nasty-looking tumble in the third game of the third set when he was passed by Muller at the net.

He said: "Everything was okay. I didn't think I was going to go down. I thought Gilles was going to go down the line - he totally got me."

Federer will hope the victory is a good omen given he has gone on to win the tournament the other three times he has beaten Muller.

He also has an advantage over his next opponent, with Marcel Granollers and Santiago Giraldo called off for rain in the fifth set of their second-round match.