Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Roger Federer evaded becoming the latest victim of a shocking upset in the men’s singles tournament at Wimbledon after he lost the first two sets of his third-round match to No. 29 Julien Benneteau.Benneteau took the first set 6-4, and the second set 7-6 (7-3).
Federer bounced back in the third, serving out to win the set 6-2.
Benneteau held serve in the first game of the fourth set and looked much stronger than he did in the third.
Both players held serve twice in the fourth set, before Federer forced a triple break point in the fifth game. Benneteau stormed back to hold serve, and grab a 3-2 lead. Since, each player had held serve to 5-4, with Benneteau in the lead.
Needing to hold serve to stay in the tournament, Federer won four straight points to push it to 5-5. Benneteau, unfazed, won four consecutive points to make it 6-5.
Federer, needing to hold serve to stay in the tournament, then won a nervous 12th game in the set to force a tiebreak.
In the tiebreak, both players held serve twice, then broke each other once to make it 3-3.
Federer broke Benneteau and held serve to take the tiebreak and even the match at 2 sets apiece.
Federer opened the fifth set by holding serve to go up 1-1. So far in the match, Federer has only been allowing Benneteau to win an average of 1 point per service game.
During his service game, Benneteau appears to have suffered a knee injury. He’s started to move very gingerly around the court, but managed to hold serve and make it 1-1.
Federer took advantage and quickly held his next service game, before athletic trainers came on the court to look at Benneteau’s left knee. After a short leg massage, play continued.
Federer then broke Benneteau’s serve to go up 3-1, and unless Benneteau can break back (which appears unlikely), Federer can win the match by simply holding serve.
He quickly stretched the lead to 4-1 and broke Benneteau’s serve again to make it 5-1. With Benneteau seemingly conceding defeat, Federer quickly served out the match to avoid the upset: 4-7, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.
We’ll keep you updated on the match here.
Benneteau’s highest career singles ranking in 26th, which he achieved this past April. He has never won an ATP singles title, and his deepest run at Wimbledon was the fourth round in 2010.
Yesterday, No. 2 Rafael Nadal was stunned by unknown Lukas Rosol. Top seed Novak Djokovic and No. 4 seed Andy Murray are still alive in the tournament.
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