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Tennis

Willis bows out of Wimbledon with plaudits from Federer

Marcus Willis acknowledges the spectators on Centre Court at Wimbledon following his second round defeat.
Marcus Willis acknowledges the spectators on Centre Court at Wimbledon following his second round defeat. Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Marcus Willis said his run to the second round of Wimbledon would inspire him to fulfil his potential. The 25-year-old qualifier was stopped in the second round on Wednesday by the seven-time champion Roger Federer.

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The Swiss maestro paid tribute to the Briton after the match: "He has a nice serve and I struggled reading it. At the net, he was very solid."

It finished 6-0 6-3 6-4 and Willis, who had earned a few hundred euros in prize money this year, will leave London SW19 with around 70,000 euros.

"I'm not here for money," said Willis. "It's an added bonus. It's great. I can clear my debts and I will keep training as I have been. That's not going to change. I have time to hit my peak in a few years."

Earlier this year, Willis was considering travelling for work to the United States. But he said he was persuaded to remain in England by his new girlfriend. He went through six rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw at Wimbledon and beat the world number 54 Ricardas Berankis in the first round.

Federer plays 'ridiculously well'

Federer, a winner of 88 ATP tournaments, including 17 grand slams, was, said Willis, a different class.

"He makes you feel as if you've got no time. He puts a lot of balls in the court on big points. You can't leave the ball anywhere short or high - it's just gone. He played the big points ridiculously well. He wasn't flashy ... we know he can be flashy. He was just rock solid."

Willis added: "The whole experience was incredible. I loved getting stuck in, fighting hard. I played a good point where I lobbed him. I can say I lobbed Roger Federer.

"Not my standard Wednesday that, playing Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon. Next Wednesday might be quite different."

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