Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our live coverage as Roger Federer
takes on Gilles Simon
in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon
. The pair will be getting a double-bill of last-16 clashes underway on Court One, with Stanislas Wawrinka
taking on Richard Gasquet
a little later today.
This is due to be the eighth time these players have faced each other, but today will be the first time they have ever come up against each other on grass. As it stands, second seed Federer holds a 5-2 advantage against the 12th-seeded Frenchman.
Federer and Simon have met in Grand Slams before and both of those meetings have gone the distance of five sets. As you might predict, Federer came out on top in each of those matches.
Seven-time Wimbledon champion Federer will be looking bidding to reach the final four at the All England Club for the 10th time. If he does, it will be 37th Grand Slam semi-final that he has competed in during his career.
Federer certainly enjoys coming up against French opponents. Statistics show that the 33-year-old has won 11 of the past 12 matches against Frenchmen at a Grand Slam standing. He has suffered just one defeat, which came against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Roland Garros two years ago.
Simon finds himself in rather different circumstances in terms of Wimbledon experience. When you look at major competitions overall, the Frenchman is yet to gain progression to a semi-final.
Simon has been speaking about his clash with Federer to ATP, here is what he's had to say: "We have never played on grass. Facing him, this I know. But I think he's playing really good right now. I will just go there and try to play how I'm playing from the beginning of the tournament and from the beginning of the grass-court season."
Meanwhile, Federer has been paying his opponent some respect in the press ahead of the contest: "I'm not going to look further than Gilles Simon, who has caused me difficulties in the past. I played him tough in some of the majors – Australian Open, French Open – we played five sets both times there."
Federer will find himself with extra motivation to claim victory today. The Swiss veteran is bidding to become the first ever man to win eight Wimbledon titles. That achievement faltered last year as he was beaten in the final by Serbian star Novak Djokovic in five sets.
Looking ahead at the weather, we're probably facing a slightly damp start out on the uncovered Court One. There is a chance of passing showers and we have very little sunlight on show as it stands. Hopefully we'll get underway not too long after 1pm, but don't be too surprised if we experience a few niggling delays later today.
Some sections of the press have started to spin the idea that Federer is looking as strong as ever at this tournament. He has dropped a set here and there, but he did produce a wonderfully controlled displayed to progress past Roberto Bautista Agut
in the last round.
For Simon, reaching the last-eight of the showpiece hasn't been too much of an issue. The Frenchman appeared in total control to brush past Tomas Berdych in straight sets last time out. However, he was put to the test against fellow compatriot Gael Monfils, who dragged Simon all the way to five sets in the third round.
So far this tournament Federer has managed to put together a pretty remarkable run of statistics. At the moment, the Swiss is taking part in his 13th Wimbledon quarter-final, which is just one behind the record of 14 held by one Jimmy Connors. Federer is yet to drop serve at SW19, has faced only two break points in 58 service games and has picked up just three double faults during his 2015 showing in South London.
Of his dominance in the service end of play, Federer told The Telegraph: "Maybe the guys are returning terrible. Gilles Simon is one of the best return players we have in the game. I would think I'll be tested a lot. So that streak's maybe coming to an end, in my opinion."
Looking out on the court at the moment, the rain seems to have stayed away for now. Court One is starting to bustle a touch as the seats start to fill up. We don't quite have a full house just yet, but a lively applause rings out as both players come out onto the grass to begin their warmups.
These good-looking chaps have just posed for a memorable photograph over the net, and now we are into the warmups. Actor Bradley Cooper is sitting in the stands. He's gone for a rather questionable combination of both rain mac and sunglasses...
The umpire's call is three minutes. Onlookers might not see too far beyond Federer sealing this contest. He has all the experience and skill required to beat Simon this afternoon. I'm going for a victory across four sets for the Swiss veteran this afternoon.
The last minute of the warmup is called. Great Britain's James Keothavong will be taking charge this afternoon. He'll be pretty hardened following his run-in with Nick Kyrgios earlier in the tournament. Bradley Cooper has switched his basketball cap into a backwards-facing position. We are good to go!
Federer opens up with the serve, but is thwarted by a poor return that hits the net. The veteran looks to rush the net at the next point, only for Simon to cut another past him to send the 33-year-old 30-0 down. He's soon back in it, though, with a comical smash at the net and he quickly moves back level with a standout ace. Another beast of a serve takes Federer ahead and another non-returnable service sees him close out the game.
BREAK! Smart cutting sees Federer take an early lead in the game when Simon finds the net with his return. Federer seeks to force the issue at the net, but can't deliver with a shot that finds the mesh at close range. Simon serves well next up and Federer throws a poor return over the baseline, before hammering a wide forehand and following it up at the net to move back level at 30-30. Errors move things to deuce and Simon finally thinks he's won the game before a Federer challenge holds out. A standout forehand wrong-foots Simon at the net, but comes back to help him as Federer fails on break point. The net is the veteran's problem again this time as Simon takes advantage, who is then bemused by a poor shot to give back deuce. The Frenchman gives away another break point with a shot into the net, which Federer accepts by following up with the most telling of passing shots on the backhand.
Back on his own serve, Federer takes control at 40-0 and closes the game out with a wonderful chip on the backhand that has Simon all at sea. Incredible dominance from the Swiss in that service game.
RAIN! After 14 minutes of play the rain comes down and Roger is left to saunter off under the grey skies. The covers are on quickly and we are hoping that this shower moves on just as rapidly.
Hang on in there! We'll keep you up-to-date with the weather situation as it progresses. As it stands, people have hurried inside and the ground is a little threadbare in terms of numbers. The hardened fans have decided to remain outside, though, and are adorned by a sea of umbrellas and the odd poncho or two.
You have to admit that Federer took that early stage of the match by storm. The 33-year-old appeared commanding off his own serve and took to the net with aplomb when required. Simon might be wondering what he can do to stop him given that the Swiss star is also showing some impressive power from the baseline, as highlighted by that stunning passing shot down the line during his break point.
Predictions from the Met Office suggest that we might not be waiting for too long to get things back underway. The rain should have properly passed in the next 20 minutes or so. The officials have also decided to keep the roof off on Centre Court, which indicates that they are quietly confident of this wet spell moving on soon.
The skies are brightening a touch now and word is that play should begin again in the next 10 minutes or so...
For those of you who are keen on keeping tabs on the progress of British number one Andy Murray
, we are also covering his clash
with Vasek Pospisil
on Centre Court.
Blue skies abound! The rain seems to have fully lifted from SW19 now and somebody in the crowed has even popped the champagne out. The covers remain on, but I doubt they'll be there for too much longer.
Progress on the court now as the boys and girls in green rush out to prepare for the removal of the covers... Here we go then, the rolling back has begun and we should be back underway shortly. Can Federer keep up his dominance?
The stands are starting to fill up again as those perturbed by the rain return to their seats. Half of the court is on show at the moment and we are sure they'll be revealing that other half in the next few moments.
Applause rings out around the ground as the officials return to their seats. Federer and Simon also follow in quick succession. Time to begin, again!
Three minutes of warmup time are reallocated for the players. The game will resume shortly after a delay of just over 35 minutes here on Court One.
Strong service from Simon sees no reply from Federer who skews his return wide, before the Swiss carves into the net to go 30-0 behind. Simon should score another point at the net, but can only guide his shot into the mesh from close range. Federer soon pulls level with a wonderful stroke on the forehand that has too much for the Frenchman. Simon takes the game when Federer is found wanting from the baseline.
Federer goes 30-0 with some strong service work that is too good for Simon and a foray forward from the veteran then allows him to cut into space to make it a resounding 40-0. Federer loses sight of one and skies into the crowd, but eventually finishes the game with an a non-returnable second serve.
Federer fails on the return with a looping forehand that goes out the back and soon fires a poor one into the net. Simon lets his opponent back in with a poor double fault, only for Federer to let slip with another costly long one. Simon seals the win with a strong serve that sees Federer's return fly beyond the line.
Simon produces a wonderful shot to chip Federer, who is not even interested in attempting to return, but the 33-year-old cannons one over the net to draw back at 15-15. Federer's serve does for the Frenchman when he produces an ace, which is followed up with another point when Simon scoops wide on the front foot towards the net. The seven-time champion takes it when Simon fails again on his forehand return.
Serving to stay in the first set, Simon delivers with a pummelling shot that has Federer scampering on the wide-line. The Frenchman makes the error with a wide shot, but moves well to find another point by cornering his opponent. Federer almost hands him the game with a poor return that loops too far beyond and Simon soon wins out when the 33-year-old fires another one just a fraction long.
SET! Early errors leave things tied at 15-15, only for Federer to showcase an outstanding volley on the attack to move in front. He tries to cut Simon short next time, but the Frenchman comes up good with a cross-court backhand. Federer ultimately takes the set, however, with a beauty of an ace. The veteran is looking totally untroubled here...
Federer goes in front early off Simon's serve with a display of aggressive forehand shots, but Simon responds with an outstanding passing shot with his backhand down the line. Federer looks to open up, but fires wide to give his opponent the lead at 30-15. Clever cutting from Simon puts him on point for the game and he dully delivers by forcing Federer into a loose one. Simon holds!
Federer is soon back on point with his own game, which moves to 40-0 with an excellent aggressive drop-shot over the net. He claims the game quickly when Simon sends a horrible one beyond the baseline. Federer is racing through his service.
Slack effort from the Swiss sees Federer chip into the net with a sloppy shot and he comes up short again by firing wide when trying to smash at the net after an impressive rally. Simon turns in a double fault on his own serve and Federer moves back level. Simon crashes through another serve to setup the game, which he concludes with another strong service that Federer sends beyond the baseline.
Simon does well to reach a strong serve early on, but can only find the net and then steps into an adroit forehand to leave Federer wanting. The veteran is back on song with a rush to the net and volley, before moving to 40-15 with a punishing forehand that opens up the whole court. He finishes the job with an immaculate ace at 106mph.
Federer tries to drop-shot the serve only to concede the point, and he's soon left reeling from a wonderful Simon ace. The Frenchman goes further ahead when Federer can only find the net on his return. Simon wins the game when Federer comes up short with his timing this time.
Wonderful play early on in the sixth as a lively rally comes to an end when Federer strangles one long. The seven-time champion is level when the Frenchman can only find the net, and Federer then moves out in front with a service that sees Simon ping one beyond the baseline. Another poor return sets up the point and Federer has the game with an outstanding forehand on the angle.
BREAK! Simon doesn't start well when he fires into the net returning on his own serve. His next one isn't that great either and gives Federer the chance to score with a destructive forehand that takes away all of Simon's space. A short rally is ended when Federer drags out wide, but Federer is presented with break point when he cuts long to get Simon in all kinds of trouble. Federer breaks at the vital moment as Simon skews wide. Huge moment in the contest...
Federer opens up with a huge ace at the first time of asking, but is counter by strong work from Simon who rushes forward and scrambles his opponent. Another ace comes up for Roger who leads 30-15 and that advantage is furthered with some telling net play having rushed after his opening serve. The game is over when Simon chops one into the middle when trying to counter service.
Comedy ensues when Federer skies a huge one into the air, before a young crowd member canes a lovely throw back to him - much to the joy of those in the stands. Simon pulls just ahead despite strong resistance from Federer and manages to hold his serve when Federer shoots another one long. Federer now serving for the set...
BREAK! A strong opening gambit sees Federer eventually send a long one following an impressive rally. Federer isn't quite at it with another shot that he chops wide on his forehand. Simon moves to break point by using the pace to deflect beyond a charging Federer. Simon takes it when Federer shoot another long one. What is happening here?
BREAK! Federer isn't too down and he comes up good with some quick work to draw level at 15-15. He then goes in front with a rush to the net that calls for a huge smash from the 33-year-old. Another wonderful rally comes to an end when Roger pulls off a killer blow on his backhand down the line to bring about a break-point chance. He soon takes it when Simon fires long.
MORE RAIN! Here we go again... Another downpour hits Court One, frustratingly for Federer who was just in the process of serving to take the second set.
The BBC's weather experts state that this shower should last for no longer than 10 or 15 minutes. There's a fair bit of wind around too, which means anything that arrives won't hang around for that long.
You get the sense that Federer isn't going to let up this afternoon. Straight after being disappointed by the break earlier, the veteran hit back instantly with a break of his own. He's played probably every shot in the book in this game showing dominance both on his service and on the attack against Simon.
The covers still remain on although the rain seems to have passed on for now. We have some blue skies and a little bit of sun showing. Play won't be too long now, you'd think...
Over on Centre Court, Murray is locked in an intriguing battle with Pospisil. The Scot took the first set with a strong 6-4 showing, only for the Canadian to battle back and find himself 4-3 up in the second set. You can follow all of our live coverage from that contest here
Interestingly, the officials over on that court have decided to bring the roof into action. It has got its very own Twitter account too:
Still no major movements out on the court despite some sunshine in South London. Hopefully things get moving soon, but we might be paid another visit by some unstable bands of weather a little later. Federer will want to get out there and wrap this up...
And just as I say that.... The youngsters are out in their greens as they begin to tamper with the covers. The grass will be on show in a matter of moments!
Not too long now! The net is up and there is some major activity going on with the game's officials. The umpire's seat has even been given a little wipe down...
James Keothavong is up and about and that can only mean one thing: play is on its way. Adjustments continue to be made around the ground as the net is given a little more attention as we await the start of play.
The stands are almost full now and the sun is beaming down onto the grass. Conditions are looking perfect after that little downpour. We are just waiting on the arrival of the players.
Here we go, the players have arrived and have been given another few minutes to warmup ahead of the resumption of play. Federer is due to serve to take the second set, while Simon is battling to stay in this encounter.
SET! Federer begins things in super fast succession and displays a wonderful ace on his way to 40-0. He then goes on further by delivering another standout ace to seal the game. Well, that was done and dusted rather quickly...
BREAK! Simon opens up by forcing Federer into a return off his first serve, but the Swiss man responds with a destructive punt down the line to draw level. Federer rushes the net and forces the chip, which flies out behind his head. The veteran gets lucky over the net to put himself in for another break point at the first time of asking, only to drop the advantage with a poor return. Federer eventually breaks having rushed the net again with Simon's response being called out.
Federer shows good strength and Simon can't hit back with the scores moving to 30-0. Federer is caught off guard when he loops a response beyond the baseline, and then has no counter when Simon passes him down the line. Roger delivers a fine ace to go ahead again and he wraps it up with a smash over the net.
Simon gets the point off his second serve and follows it up with a cut that forces Federer to find the net. The Frenchman can't quite take control when his attacking swipe goes out, before Federer produces a wide of his own to give his opponent two game points. Simon holds as Federer backhands into the mesh.
Ominous from Federer on the serve as he produces another ace at 30-0. HIs next service sees Simon return one into his own side of the net, putting Federer in another strong position to take the game quickly. The 33-year-old takes the game unchallenged when Simon hits the net and gives away a wide one.
Simon produces a wonderful forehand despite being stuck deep and he comes up good when Federer sends a return wide. He moves to 40-15 with a strong bullet that sees Federer spoon his return wide into the crowd at full stretch. Simon takes the game as Federer is unable to get enough to lift the ball tight over the net.
An early errors sees Federer shoot wide and give Simon a chance at 15-15, but the seven-time champ is back on song with a bit of luck handed out by the net. Continued grit on the serve gives the game to Federer, who is striding towards a comfortable win.
BREAK! Making up for his lack of resistance on Federer's serve, Simon starts strongly on his own. However, Federer produces a telling whip across the court to punish a poor second serve at 30-15. Federer goes further ahead for the break point when Simon cuts far too long. The Swiss maestro succeeds again at the second break point as Simon can only find the net yet again. Federer is serving for the match now...
GAME, SET & MATCH! Federer starts things off with a fumble down the line, but it's good enough as Simon can't get over the net. Simon responds with a passing shot that does for his rushing opponent. Federer goes back in front when the Frenchman sends a long one beyond the line. It is soon 40-15 when Federer sets up a lovely serve and volley combination. Federer produces a double fault, but takes the second match point with a volley at the net.
Wonderfully uncomplicated showing from Federer this afternoon, who held firm despite the rain to take that contest comfortably. He worked adroitly off his own serve and took three key breaks to win out over Simon. Talk might now be ramping up about whether he can claim this elusive eighth Wimbledon crown. If he can keep playing this consistently, he might well do so.
That's going to be all from us in relation to this contest, but we will be bringing you more live game-by-game coverage in the next 20 minutes or so as Wawrinka takes on Gasquet on Court One. You can find that commentary, along with the rest of our coverage, over at our dedicated Wimbledon section