London – Roger Federer extended his leading record for third round appearances at grand slam tournaments after he prevailed 6-1, 7-6 (6-3), 6-2 against British wildcard Jay Clarke at Wimbledon on Thursday.
Federer has now appeared 70 times in the third phase of a major tournament and his latest victory means that the 37-year-old Swiss is three results away from becoming the first man to claim 100 wins at Wimbledon.
The 20-time grand slam champion was dominant in the rallies against the 20-year-old Clarke and forced his opponent to concede two breaks before serving out the first set in 28 minutes.
“I sensed he was a bit nervous in the beginning with his double-faults,” said Federer. “That was the end of that first set and it gave me everything I needed to know for the rest of the match.”
Federer, who has not lost in the second round since 2013, was given the chance to pull away with a two-set lead when Clarke hit the net four times before Federer cemented his advantage with an ace.
The eight-time champion was in full control as he surged to the finish line with two breaks and booked his third round spot after one hour and 37 minutes.
Federer will next play Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the third round after he downed compatriot Gregoire Barrere in straight sets 6-1, 7-6 (7-0), 6-4.
Elsewhere in the men's draw, more top seeds fell including last year's semi-finalist John Isner and 2017 finalist Marin Cilic.
American ninth seed Isner was defeated in five sets by Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Cilic, the Croatian 13th seed, lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to Portugal's Joao Sousa, who will next play Dan Evans after the Briton dispatched Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).
There was no trouble for Japan's eighth seed Kei Nishikori as he ended the British crowd's hopes for Cameron Norrie in a comprehensive 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 victory.
In the women's draw, defending champion Angelique Kerber is out after the former world number one lost 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 to American Lauren Davis in an upset victory.
“I was not really feeling good from the beginning,” said Kerber, who has won three grand slam titles. “The energy was not there. It's not the way I would like to finish here.”
Serena Williams survived a first set scare against 18-year-old Kaja Juvan.
The 37-year-old, who has 23 grand slam titles, was broken twice to fall behind but rallied back to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 as she served out the match with two aces.
Petra Kvitova recovered from a slow start after being a break down early against Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic.
The two-time champion, seeded sixth, lost her serve in the opening game but recovered to eventually win 7-5, 6-2 in 85 minutes.
Earlier, World number one Ashleigh Barty cruised through to the third round of Wimbledon with a commanding 6-1, 6-3 victory over Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck on Thursday.
Her latest victory at the grass grand slam event extends her unbeaten run to 14 matches.
Barty will meet Britain's Harriet Dart next after she conquered Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-1.
Fourth seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands had to recover from a set down to overcome American Taylor Townsend 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 and will meet Czech Barbora Strycova in the next round.
American Sloane Stephens also claimed a dominant second round win as the former US Open champion triumphed 6-0, 6-2 against China's Wang Yafan.
Stephens' next opponent will be British 19th seed Jo Konta after she dismissed Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-4.