Marcus Willis Roger Federer Wimbledon
Marcus Willis is embraced by Roger Federer after their Wimbledon 2016 match in the second round, June 29, 2016Reuters

A deep breath, an "alright, I'm actually playing here look around the court" and Marcus Willis made his Centre Court debut at Wimbledon against arguably the greatest men's player the sport has ever seen. The end result might have not gone the world number 772's way, but this was not entirely about the scoreline, more the plot, a plotline that would make a great Hollywood movie.

And the great man Roger Federer seemed to agree. "This story is gold," Federer told reporters after his straight set 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 win over the previously-unheralded-but-now-worldwide-popular Willis.

"I must tell you, I was quite a bit intrigued even before he was in my section of the draw. After he qualified, I was reading a lot about his story.

"What I like about his game is he reads it well. He knows when you're coming in. He can slice easily, even really deep in the court. He chips it really well, cross-court and down the line. He sees when it's short and he steps into the court and he goes for it."

Willis' entry into the main round of Wimbledon, in itself, was quite an accomplishment, after seven wins in pre-qualifying and qualifying, but to beat the 54th ranked men's singles player in the world –Ricardas Berankis – was more than anybody would have expected of the man from the UK.

The left-hander nearly quit the sport to take up a job as a tennis coach in the US, but a meeting with his now girlfriend Jennifer Bate, in the player's box cheering on every point against Federer, changed the course of his history, and having done so, Willis is savouring every glorious moment, so much so that he was, in the end, disappointed not to have ended up on the winning side against the Swiss maestro, the man who has won seven titles at SW19 in his career.

"I was enjoying it out there," Willis was quoted as saying by The Guardian said after the match. "If I'm playing quite well and competing with Roger Federer for a couple of sets, I'm doing the right thing.

"It sounds funny, but I'm disappointed to lose. I went out there trying to win."

Now that he has had a taste of the glories associated with tennis, particularly the sport's greatest tournament – Wimbledon – Willis is targeting more, even if before that, he might have time for a bit of refreshment.

"I've had a fantastic few weeks, and this has been great, but there's life after Wimbledon, and I want more," the 25-year-old added. "More experiences like this. I have to knuckle down and work harder.

"(For now), I'm absolutely exhausted. I might wait and calm down. But I've earned myself a beer, I think."

Also read