Federer next faces Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky in the next round.
Women’s second seed Victoria Azarenka fought through the pain barrier after a nasty fall to beat Maria Joao Koehler 6-1, 6-2 and reach the second round.
The Belarussian had cruised through the first set against the Portuguese world No. 106 and was one point away from going 2-0 up in the second when she slipped behind the baseline while trying to reach a shot and almost did the splits.
Azarenka screamed in agony as she lay on the grass, with some spectators taking a moment to realize the noise was real pain, rather than the usual shrieks that accompany her every shot, and she received treatment there, before taking a medical timeout.
Her right knee was strapped as she walked gingerly back to continue the match, serving two double faults immediately, before eventually losing the game.
Hobbling between shots and unable to run for anything that landed away from where she was standing, Azarenka looked relieved when she won the match thanks to the errors of Koehler, who failed to capitalize on her opponent’s lack of mobility.
Also scheduled on Centre Court later yesterday were former women’s champion Maria Sharapova, facing Kristina Mladenovic of France, and British No. 2 seed Andy Murray, playing Benjamin Becker of Germany.
Murray, who lost to Federer in last year’s final, beat the Swiss star a month later for the Olympic gold medal and won his first Grand Slam at the US Open last year. He is bidding again to become the first British player to win the men’s Wimbledon trophy since Fred Perry in 1936.