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Tennis feast fit for a Prince

sports Updated: Jun 28, 2012 02:03 IST
Prince charles

Britain's Prince Charles made a rare, if fleeting, visit to Wimbledon on Wednesday but stayed just long enough to watch Roger Federer produce another regal performance on Centre Court to move serenely into the third round.

Swiss Federer, bidding for a record-equalling seventh men's singles title at the All England Club, outclassed Fabio Fognini 6-1 6-3 6-2, displaying his full repertoire of shots in front of an appreciative Royal Box.

With rain showers hovering around south west London and Centre Court's roof sliding shut, world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic was scheduled to play his second-round match against American Ryan Harrison later.

Samantha Stosur became the highest seed to fall at the championships when the Australian was bundled out in the second round by Dutch player Arantxa Rus.

The fifth seed, the only player from the former tennis power house to reach the second round, lost 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 in a wildly fluctuating match on Court One.

Home fans who braved the early-morning queues snaking across the golf course opposite the grounds, were treated to early British cheer when Heather Watson reached the third round of the women's singles by beating American Jamie Lee Hampton.

Federer bowed to the heir to the throne before his match and Charles and his wife Camilla gave the 30-year-old maestro a standing ovation after he thrashed Fognini.

"We are thrilled for the tennis family that they came to watch today," Federer said after a victory that resembled a royal procession.

The languid Fognini played more of a part in proceedings in the second and third sets but his body language was that of a man just making up the numbers as Federer treated the crowd in a match that flashed by in 74 minutes.

"I didn't think it was that easy a match," Federer said. "I really tried to focus hard and made sure I played sort of a clean match, which I was able to do again today."

Federer, who last won the title in 2009, will face either Michael Russell or Julien Benneteau in the third round.

Several first-round matches had to be completed on Wednesday after rain and bad light ended play early the previous evening.

Spain's seventh seed David Ferrer finished off Germany's Dustin Brown 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 but 25th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who partnered Federer to Olympic doubles gold in Beijing four years ago, lost a five-set cliffhanger to Juergen Melzer.