Federer backs Djokovic to escape Wimbledon trap


London: Roger Federer has backed Novak Djokovic to fight his way back from the brink of Wimbledon elimination when the world number one resumes his third round match against Sam Querrey at two sets to love down.

The defending champion, who is looking to go level with Rod Laver’s mark of 31 successive Grand Slam wins, fell victim to big-hitting 28th seed Querrey on Court One on Friday.

Djokovic, the two-time defending champion at Wimbledon and halfway to the first calendar Grand Slam in 47 years, was saved by the rain which brought an early close to the action.

Djokovic will now attempt to turn the match around on Saturday when he seeks to come back from two sets down for the fifth time in his career.

He did it against Kevin Anderson in the fourth round last year but failure against Querrey will condemn him to his earliest exit at Wimbledon in eight years.

“I always said it, the first week is tough,” said Federer who has lost the last two finals at the All England Club to Djokovic.

“Margins are small. I know we get carried away, we think it’s impossible to beat him, all these things. Clearly he’s beatable. It’s not impossible.

“He cannot win straight 200 matches in tennis. You’re going to have your losses. But he hasn’t lost. That’s the great thing for him. He can fight his way out of it.

“Still a long way away for Sam to get it done, especially with Novak’s track record right now in the slams.”

Federer is the only man to have reached the last-16 so far after a rain-hit week which has forced organisers to schedule play on the middle Sunday for the first time since 2004 in an effort to clear the backlog.

Only 15 of 32 scheduled singles matches were completed on Friday with four second round ties still to be finished.

Centre Court action on Saturday sees Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep tackle Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the opener.

Then 2013 champion Andy Murray, the second seed, plays John Millman looking to extend his 17-0 Tour-level win-loss record against Australian players.

If Millman can cause an upset and become the lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at a Grand Slam in 11 years, he would reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time.

Jack Sock of the United States takes on Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic in the last match on Centre Court

Raonic leads their series 7-1 including a win at Wimbledon in 2014.

On Court One, Australian 15th seed Nick Kyrgios faces Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.