Cameron Norrie found his path at a grand slam blocked by a tennis giant once again as he fell in the third round of Wimbledon to Roger Federer.
The British number two was playing in the last 32 for the third consecutive slam.
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But, after losing to Rafael Nadal at both the Australian and French Opens, this time it was Federer who defeated him 6-4 6-4 5-7 6-4.
Federer looked to be cruising through to the fourth round at two sets ahead only for Norrie to break to love to clinch the third.
That was as good as it got, though, with the sixth seed wrapping up victory in two hours and 34 minutes.
There can be no disgrace, of course, in losing to the only man who has lifted the trophy eight times here.
And, barring a few loose moments, Federer looked as sharp as he has so far this tournament.
The 25-year-old Norrie is a supreme athlete but lacks big weapons and often beats players by grinding them down, actively trying to make matches as physical as possible.
Federer, on the other hand, looks to race through matches as quickly as he can and his speed of play has a suffocating effect on opponents.
That was certainly the case for Norrie when he was broken in the seventh game of the first set, with the crowd split down the middle in terms of who to support.
Norrie had two chances to break in the second game of the second set but they were gone in the blink of an eye, and Federer forged ahead moments later.
Tim Henman back in 2001 is the only British player to have beaten Federer in Wimbledon —- Murray beat him on Centre Court in the Olympic final in 2012.
This time around,there appeared very little chance of Norrie becoming the second until the end of the third set.
After missing a chance to break Norrie and lead 6-5, Federer wobbled, spraying a succession of errors and dropping serve to love.
Norrie whipped up the crowd as he sensed an opportunity, and he broke straight back when Federer moved 3-2 ahead, but another break for the Swiss at 4-4 proved decisive.
Federer, who is through to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the 18th time and will next take on Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, said: “I’m super relieved. It was a tough battle with Cam. A little extra round but he deserved that third set.
“I thought he played excellent today and for me I felt I was really able to keep a very high level of play.
“He got the good break at the end of the third that cost me the set but overall I can be very happy with how I played.”(dpa/NAN)