LONDON (Reuters) - Seven-times champion Roger Federer ended the fairytale Wimbledon run of British qualifier Marcus Willis with an emphatic 6-0 6-3 6-4 victory on a packed Centre Court on Wednesday.
For once though, the storyline belonged to his opponent as the 772nd-ranked underdog Willis, the talk of the tournament so far, basked in the limelight on a day he will never forget.
Federer played the role of pantomime villain in a 25-minute first set as he denied Willis a game.
But thereafter the 25-year-old Briton, cheered on by his friends at courtside, played a full part in some entertaining action under the showcourt's closed roof.
When Willis, who got through six qualifying rounds and then beat Ricardas Berankis in round one, finally got on the scoreboard in the second game of the second set the roar could be heard all over the grounds.
He kept Federer on his toes with some audacious drop shots and slices and fought right to the end.
Federer looked a little relieved when he broke for a 5-4 lead in the third set and congratulated Willis warmly after his opponent sliced a final backhand long in the following game.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by John Stonestreet)