LONDON: Adrian Mannarino is looking to put an end to Roger Federer's Wimbledon "artistry" as he attempts to stop the eight-time champion's -remarkable run of success at SW19.
Federer has won 29 consecutive sets at the All England Club and has yet to even face a break point at this year's tournament. He takes on Mannarino today (Monday) knowing that two more straight-sets victories would equal his best run of form at Wimbledon, when he won 35 consecutive sets from 2005 to 2006.
Mannarino, a combustible but watchable Frenchman who is this year's 22nd seed, suggested he will try to outplay Federer with his own brand of stylish tennis.
"Federer is definitely an artist," Mannarino said. "If he is Picasso, maybe I am an artist too – but one that is a lot less well-known. I can't compare myself to his style, that would just be arrogant.
"Every player out there is a kind of artist and able to do some crazy things on court with their own style. Of course we know what a great player Federer is, but you can only go out and play your best."
This will be the sixth time that Mannarino, a left-hander, has faced Federer. He has lost the previous five but impressed in their most -recent meeting, in Basel last year, when he won the opening set.
"It is stupid to think you are beaten before you go out on court, if you think there is no point in -going out there," Mannarino said.
Adrian Mannarino of France returns a ball at Wimbledon.
Mannarino's game is well suited to grass and this is the third time he has reached the fourth round here. He would also have been grateful for the extra day's rest after a marathon five-set victory over Russia's Daniil Medvedev which took more than three hours to complete. He has never progressed beyond the third round of any other grand slam tournament.
"I work very hard every day to be a better player and I now think I can beat these kind of players," Mannarino said. "I am definitely not thinking already I will lose. I believe I can win the match."
Despite being the plucky underdog on paper, he knows that, as ever, it will be Federer who receives the crowd's backing on Centre Court.
"I have played Federer in the US Open, in his home town of Basel and here before," the 30-year-old said. "He is popular everywhere. So it does not matter where you play him, I will not be the one the crowd is cheering for so I am not too worried about that.
"I just have to concentrate on what I have to do and see what happens. The last match in Basel was a good match and pretty close."
Federer after winning his second round match at Wimbledon.
Mannarino lost 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 on their last meeting at Wimbledon, in the second round in 2011. "I am a better player than the last time we played on Centre Court," Mannarino said. "But he isn't doing too bad either. But every day and match is different – you don't know what shape he will be in on Monday, or me."
Speaking after his third-round thrashing of Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, Federer said he was expecting a much more "strategic" match against Mannarino. The winner will face either Gael Monfils, another enigmatic Frenchman, or eighth seed Kevin Anderson.
Elsewhere in Federer's side of the draw, 2016 finalist Milos Raonic takes on America's Mackenzie McDonald and big-serving John Isner meets Stefanos Tsitsipas, the talented 19-year-old from Greece.
The Telegraph, London
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