Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fright for Federer

Swiss star through to a 32nd consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final 



Roger Federer survived a scare on his way to the quarter-finals of the French Open, before seeing off Belgian 'lucky loser' David Goffin 5-7 7-5 6-2 6-4.
Goffin came within two points of taking a two sets to love lead after going a set, 5-4 and 30-15 up, but he could not break the third seed's serve and from there on in it was one-way traffic as Federer swept into the last eight.
The world number 109, who lost in the last round of qualifying, was the first lucky loser - an alternate on standby after being beaten in qualifying - to reach the last 16 of a major since countryman Dick Norman at Wimbledon in 1995.
The first signs of an unexpectedly close contest appeared in the sixth game of the first set when Federer had to save three break points at 2-3 down.
He managed that, but after failing to put much pressure on Goffin's serve he found himself up against it once again at 5-6 down. He saved two set points, but Goffin converted a third.
The Belgian maintained the same punishing tempo in the second set and came within two points of going two sets up.
But two big serves got Federer out of trouble and in the next game he got the break he was looking for as Goffin finally had a sloppy game with a double fault and a couple of unforced errors.
The third seed then squandered two set points in the next game and had to save a break back point before finally levelling at a set apiece.

In command

Federer broke Goffin's serve again in the third game of the third set to move ahead in the match for the first time and another break to lead 5-2 confirmed that he was back in command.
Another double fault helped Federer break to start the fourth set and Goffin had no answers from there on in, as Federer reached his 32nd consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final.
"I came out of the qualifiers and I played my best tennis in my first three matches. Then playing Roger was the cherry on the cake," said the 21-year-old Goffin.
"I won't hide the fact that I had photos of Roger everywhere on the walls of my bedroom. It was like a dream for me playing him here."
Federer paid tribute to his opponent, adding: "I didn't know much about him beforehand, but I know him a lot better now."
Federer's reward is a quarter-final clash with either Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina or Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. Del Potro was leading 2-1 in sets when play was suspended on Sunday night.

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