It is timed for release as the anticipation crests with Roger as returning champion, 10 years after their famed 2008 Wimbledon championship - an epic match so close and so reflective of their competitive balance that, in the end, the true victor was the sport itself.
But Federer, playing his 200th tour-level grass-court match, was not to be denied as he continues his quest to become the first male player to win Wimbledon nine times. I thought I did very well today.
After reaching the final a year ago and the semi-finals in 2016, Venus was expected to mount another strong challenge for the Wimbledon title.
"I felt much more confident in my game, I served better and I felt so pumped", said Pella, who reached the third round of a major for the first time.
And the world number 82 held his nerve to convert his fourth match point and win 3-6 1-6 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.
Williams is the fourth former women's champion to get knocked out, joining Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova and last year's victor Garbine Muguruza.
Australian 17th seed Ashleigh Barty reached the third round for the first time with a 6-4, 7-5 win over fellow former Wimbledon junior champion Eugenie Bouchard.
Struff, who had recovered from 2-0 down to win both of his opening two matches, settled down in the second set and was clearly becoming more comfortable in the alien and daunting environment of Centre.
The top seed, who is yet to drop a set at this year's championships, did not relinquish a single break point during the 97-minute domination.
The 36-year-old Swiss has won 26 consecutive sets at the All England Club.
Federer next faces French 22nd seed Adrian Mannarino.
Earlier in the day, US Open finalist Madison Keys struggled to find her rhythm in a 7-5 5-7 6-4 defeat to Russian qualifier Rodina.
Eight-time champion Roger Federer moved a step closer to a record-breaking Wimbledon title with a straight-sets victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in the third round.
"I'm happy I found a way today".
Meanwhile in the doubles, South Africa's Raven Klaasen and his New Zealand partner Michael Venus advanced to the second round when they defeated Australia duo Lleyton Hewitt and Alex Bolt 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
With errors flying off her racket the 23-year-old seemed down and out when she trailed 0-4 in the second set. But I always expect to do the best I can do.