WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Excitement and adoration greeted every point claimed by Roger Federer — “aaahs” and applause for a sliced backhand return or a 94 mph sliding wide ace, an unreachable drop volley or a forehand flicked suddenly and ferociously.
It all got to be too much for his opponent at the All England Club, No. 23 seed Lorenzo Sonego. So in the latter stages of his 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 loss to the eight-time champion, Sonego would win a point and mark the occasion by waving his arms to ask the crowd for some love, as if to say, “Hey, I’m here, too, OK?”
The match was the last at Centre Court on what was Wimbledon’s last Manic Monday: As of next year, no longer will all 16 women’s and men’s fourth-round singles matches be scheduled on one day, a tradition vanishing along with that of a Middle Sunday without any play. And yet, amid all the chaos of a packed schedule, one could be forgiven for imagining Federer held the stage to himself.