In his first notable result at Wimbledon, Roger Federer reached the quarter-final in 2001, following a win over the seven-time champion Pete Sampras. Giving his best to extend the run, a teenager suffered a tight 7-5, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 loss to Tim Henman in three hours and 13 minutes. Federer won just two points less than the Briton, dominating set number three but losing ground in the closing stages of the other three to hit the exit door. After an early defeat in 2002, Federer became the player to beat at the All England Club, lifting consecutive trophies in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and hoping to extend the streak in 2006. Federer ousted Richard Gasquet in straight sets in the first round to earn a massive Open era record with 42 consecutive victories on grass, leaving Bjorn Borg on 41 and gathering additional boost ahead of the upcoming encounters. In the second round, Federer had a chance to avenge that 2001 loss against the crowd favorite Tim Henman.
The Swiss beat the Briton 6-4, 6-0 6-2 in an hour and 25 minutes to notch the 27th Wimbledon triumph. The four-time semi-finalist was miles behind his A-game at Wimbledon that year, dropping over half of the points behind the initial shot and suffering six breaks from eight opportunities offered to Federer. The Swiss dropped 19 points in 12 service games and repelled both break points to keep the initial shot intact and march over the finish line. At some point, Federer claimed ten straight games and lost only eight points in those, demolishing the rival in the second set to deliver Henman’s first bagel at the All England Club!
Roger Federer defeated Tim Henman in 85 minutes at Wimbledon 2006.
The home favorite didn’t play that bad in the opener, getting broken once and allowing Roger to take it 6-4. The Swiss grabbed a break at 15 in the second set’s first game, repeated that two games later and landed an ace in game four to forge a 4-0 advantage. Tim got broken at love in the fifth game and experienced a bagel after another ace from Roger, who was marching towards the finish line. With nothing standing in his way, the defending champion raced towards a 4-0 lead in the third set and sealed the deal with an ace in game eight to advance into the third round.
“I think Tim should stay in the game, and I’d be stunned if this was his last Wimbledon. He’s got family and has had a great career – it’s his choice. I think that he can easily play for another year,” Roger Federer said.