Roger Federer opened his Wimbledon account in familiar fashion but it was one very noticeable difference that sent social media into a frenzy.
The eight-time champion shrugged off 30-degree heat to breeze into the Wimbledon second round on the opening day of competition.
Federer, the defending champion and seeking a 21st major, marked the start of his 20th successive Wimbledon with a new look and a comfortable 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 win over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic.
And it was this new look in particular that created more headlines than the Swiss ace’s display against his Serbian opponent.
The top seed marched out on Centre Court dressed for the first time in gear designed by Japanese giant Uniqlo.
While it may not seem like a big deal, it signalled the end of an almost two-decade association with Nike, with whom Federer’s trademark insignia has become synonymous with the company’s tennis apparel.
Federer’s deal with Uniqlo is reported to be worth some $US300 million ($A408m) over ten years.
Many fans watching the Swiss maestro on court, however, simply couldn’t come to terms with the fact he was no longer kitted out in Nike gear.
honestly federer letting us all lose our minds for months over whether he's left nike or not then just casually walking onto centre court at wimbledon in his new uniqlo kit is the definition of big dick energy do not @ me
— Maisie (@goderer) July 2, 2018
Roger Federer announces his new Uniqlo deal by walking out on Centre Court with the Japanese company's clothing on. His Nike contract came to an end in March. #Wimbledon
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) July 2, 2018
Federer is wearing Uniqlo on #Wimbledon Centre Court.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) July 2, 2018
— Live Tennis (@livetennis) July 2, 2018
Have to say, I’m shocked that the early reports were true. Roger Federer is wearing Uniqlo, relegating Nike to shoes only. Farewell to the RF logo, owned by Nike. Serena becomes Nike’s undisputed biggest tennis star.
— John Edwards (@JJE3tennis) July 2, 2018
Everything else was familiar for the Swiss star who cruised past world number 57 Lajovic in just 79 minutes.
It was the second successive year that Federer had knocked out the Serb at Wimbledon.
“I’m very happy, I felt good from the start too which was nice and that was not the case last year against him. I remember I struggled early on a lot,” said Federer.
After just 20 minutes to complete the first set, Federer went on to fire 35 winners past Lajovic, breaking serve five times, setting up a second round encounter against Lukas Lacko of Slovakia.