In 2002, Mario Ancic stunned Roger Federer in straight sets in Wimbledon’s first round. Determined to avoid those kinds of upsets, Federer claimed the All England Club’s title in 2003 and never looked back, rattling off 26 straight wins at the world’s most significant tournament after serving revenge to Croat in 2006. In the quarter-final, the three-time defending champion defeated Ancic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 47 minutes, notching his ninth consecutive Wimbledon win in straight sets and racing into the semis. Roger got broken once and scored four breaks from seven opportunities, hitting a similar number of service winners as Mario and controlling the pace from the baseline.
The Swiss earned a break at 2-2 in the opener with a passing shot and closed it with a hold at love at 5-4. Carried by that momentum, Federer grabbed an early break at the beginning of the second set and kept it throughout it, firing a service winner in the tenth game to move two sets to love in front and take a big step towards the victory. Forging a 3-0 lead in the third set, Roger lost the pace a bit, but it wasn’t enough for Ancic to make a complete comeback, with the defending champion moving over the top after an unreturned serve at 5-4.
Roger Federer defeated Mario Ancic in the 2006 Wimbledon quarter-final.
“It’s not easy to compare this Wimbledon with the previous ones, and also different players. But, yeah, I had periods in these five matches when I played incredible tennis. The rain delays usually slow you down, but they gave me more, and I played even better. It was quite a strong performance today, and I’m pleased. I woke up during the night and saw thunderstorms; I knew it will be a bad day. Still, I was first on the court, and we finished with a couple of rain delays, which is fine. I knew Mario could be dangerous; he has a great serve, with an aggressive approach and good volleys. I had to make a good start; otherwise, it could have been a tricky encounter.
Our previous match here was four years ago, and I didn’t think about it. My passing shots have been working well for the entire event; I have also served and returned on a high note. I always felt in control; it became tighter in the closing stages, but I stayed focused on sealing the deal in straight sets. I think I started to feel comfortable here at Wimbledon after the quarter-final victory in 2003. Also, the semi-final triumph over Roddick gave me a lot of confidence. I don’t think about winning the tournament without losing a set. I should be the favorite in the semi-final whoever wins the next match, but it is always tricky on grass; you never know, and you can’t underestimate anybody. I got the opportunity to play on grass in London in 1998, and it was like a dream. I felt it was a pretty good surface for me. I was the favorite to win the junior Wimbledon, and I did,” Roger Federer said.