x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Roger Federer relieved to survive scare at Wimbledon

The world No 3 comes from two sets down to beat Julien Benneteau to reach the last 16.

Roger Federer came from two sets down to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for the 10th successive year.
Roger Federer came from two sets down to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for the 10th successive year.

Roger Federer narrowly avoided joining Rafael Nadal in a second-round exit at Wimbledon, and then declared the Spaniard's loss good for the sport.

Nadal's five-set defeat by little-known Czech Lukas Rosol on Thursday night was one of tennis' great upsets, and it looked like it would be followed by another when six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer trailed Julien Benneteau by two sets to love.

The Swiss has reached at least the quarter-finals at the last 32 grand slams, and he kept alive his hopes of extending that record by turning things round to win 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-1.

Twenty-eight of the last 29 slams have been won by Federer, Nadal or Novak Djokovic, with Juan Martin Del Potro the only man to break the sequence.

Federer said: "Well, this is not against Rafa, but it was nice to see it's still possible. I think 15 years ago you had matches like this so much more often on the faster surfaces, that a guy could catch fire and just run through you.

"What this victory of Rosol does is give great belief for other players that they can beat the top guys, which I think is great, even though it might not be that great for me down the stretch.

"Hopefully not. But it's just great for the sport that it is possible."

Benneteau was justifiably proud of his performance, and he said: "After a match like that, you're a better player, for sure. So even if I lost, I think it's going to be positive for me for the rest of the season and also for my career."

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