Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall sat in the first row of the Royal Box as Federer walked onto Centre Court for the day’s first match. He and Fognini stood side by side as they bowed awkwardly toward the royals, and Charles responded with a wave and grin.
“They do brief you beforehand,” Federer said. “I guess you don’t do anything stupid. You behave.”
Shortly after Federer’s victory, rain interrupted play, and the retractable roof on Centre Court was closed for the first time in the tournament. Defending champion Novak Djokovic won under the lights, beating American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the final match of the day, which finished at 9:52 p.m.
“We went the distance,” Djokovic said. “I’m honored to be in a position to play on the most recognized Centre Court worldwide in our sport. Every time I step on Centre Court, you can feel the different energy from any other tournament.”
Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki lost under the roof to Tamira Paszek, who saved two match points in the second set and won 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Other Grand Slam champions advancing included Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick, while 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur and 2011 French Open champion Li Na lost. More than a dozen matches on outside courts were postponed until Thursday.
Top-ranked Maria Sharapova led 7-6 (7-3), 3-1 when her second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova was suspended because of darkness. Sharapova saved five set points in the first set.
Seeded third, Federer hopes to end his 2 1/2-year drought in major tournaments, and he’s off to a good start, losing only nine games through two rounds. He seeks to add to his record total of 16 Grand Slam championships, and he could match the record of seven Wimbledon men’s titles set by William Renshaw in the 1880s and tied by Pete Sampras in 2000.
“I’m just happy overall with how I’m playing,” Federer said. “I’m serving well when I have to. I’m moving well. I feel like my forehand and backhand are working well.”
Sloane Stephens, a 19-year-old American playing at Wimbledon for the first time, saved five set points in the first set and beat No. 23 Petra Cetkovska 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-3. In the final set, Stephens trailed love-30 in four consecutive service games, yet won them all.
Stephens is coming off her first run to the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament, which happened this month at the French Open.
Sara Errani needed only seven seconds to complete a rain-interrupted win, and she didn’t even have to hit a ball.
Errani led American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-1, 5-3 and held the advantage one point from victory when their match was halted Tuesday evening. They returned to Court 16 some 18 hours later, and when Vandeweghe double-faulted into the net on the first point, Errani had the win.
Three-time Wimbledon runner-up Roddick needed three hours over two days to complete a first-round win over British wild card Jamie Baker, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 7-5.
Clijsters, a four-time major champion playing Wimbledon for the final time, advanced to the third round by beating Andrea Hlavackova 6-3, 6-3.