Match report

Roger Federer ©
3rd round
6/29/12 1 2 3 4 5 Tot
ch  Roger Federer 4 6 6 7 6 3
fr  Julien Benneteau 6 7 2 6 1 2
Julien Benneteau ©
  • Federer delivers another comeback from two sets down

    6/29/12 11:25 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Roger Federer storms back from a two-set deficit to survive Julien Benneteau on Friday at Wimbledon. Federer, who did the same against Juan Martin Del Potro at the French Open, will face Xavier Malisse in the fourth round.

    Less than 24 hours after Rafael Nadal crashed out of Wimbledon, Roger Federer nearly suffered the same fate.

    Instead, Federer recovered from being two sets down as he overcame Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-1 during third-round action at the All-England Club on Friday evening. The six-time champion was two points from defeat in the fourth set before rolling through the fifth as he prevailed in three hours and 34 minutes.

    Benneteau, a respectable 1-2 lifetime against Federer coming in, played aggressive tennis and could do no wrong in the first two sets. The veteran Frenchman did not face a single break point in the opener and in the second set alone he blasted 26 winners.

    Federer, however, was undaunted. The six-time champion dominated the third before finding himself two points from defeat on six different occasions in the fourth. Still, Federer held his nerve and never allowed Benneteau a match point. The third-ranked Swiss earned a crucial mini-break at 6-6 in the tiebreaker and closed it out one point later.

    In the fifth it was one-way traffic, with Federer only improving as Benneteau suffered from cramps. Federer won the last five games of the match to clinch victory.

    "It's always one of the best feelings coming back from two sets to love in a Grand Slam," noted Federer, who did the same against Juan Martin Del Potro at Roland Garros. "And in particular here at Wimbledon, where I have been able to do it before. So I have been there, but not with the roof closed. That made the atmosphere very special out there."

    "Mentally, he's a rock," Benneteau said of Federer. "He's two sets down and he doesn't show anything.After that, if your level is a little bit lower, he takes the opportunity. He has a capacity also to improve his game during the match. So you have to be focused every point, every point against him. You cannot make any mistakes."

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Shades of FO in '09. Hope the end result is the same too : Fed beating Nadal's conqueror Rosol in the final.

chr18 , 6/29/12 11:54 PM

Too close for comfort....

Bonker , 6/29/12 11:57 PM

not enough for SF.

rfzr , 6/30/12 12:03 AM

He's through and that is the most important thing. 2 days to recover and looking forward to the second week! After a comeback like that he can go all the way! Keep it up Maestro we believe.

brothdog , 6/30/12 12:05 AM

I believe... It's grass tennis. One or two point could determine the outcome of a match.

Bonker , 6/30/12 12:23 AM

actually Federer played pretty good throughout, only a couple of lapses in the 1st and 2nd set. He has to clean up his net game though, it seemed he missed some. Served pretty well especially in the end. Benneteau was hurting his 2nd serve though.

how this guy has made 30+ QFs in a row really makes you shake your head in awe. One day it will end, but hopefully not this time. Malisse is also an older, wily veteran w ith good power. Can't underestimate him, and have to win that first set.

Bharata , 6/30/12 12:25 AM

With Nadal just out of the slam, this match really reminded me to the one he escaped against Haas in RG 09.

Roger seems to freak out when Nadal is kicked off of a Slam in the early rounds. Let's see how he performs against Malisse on Monday.

Emiliano55 , 6/30/12 12:26 AM

Federer is closing in on the number one ranking.

stratocast51 , 6/30/12 2:29 AM

It seems to me that in the beginning Benneteau ran faster than Fed and returned many of Fed's shots. Fed seemed slow and mistimed some of his shots resulting in some shanking. Beeneteau played above his normal level in the first two sets and once after he slipped and fell, he began to slow down, allowing Fed to fight back in set three. Clearly once he was 3-0 down in set three, Benneteau was thinking of letting go the third set and concentrated on the fourth. The fourth set was tight and as usual Benneteau tighten up in the end and lost the tie break. It's usual of him to tighten up at crucial moments, as shown when he had reached many finals but yet to win one title. Fed just needed to hang in there and wait for his moments.

I don't think Malisse is good or quick enough even for this Fed, Youzhny or whoever in the QF too isn't good enough either. Nole didn't look sharp either in his match and he had Gasquet as his next opponent. Gasquet may stand a chance against this Nole. If Nole stands the tests and reaches the SF and meets Fed there, then I think Nole may have a slight edge over this Fed.

I don't think Rosol can go all the way to the final, for along the way there's Tsonga amd then maybe Murray or Delpo or Roddick. Rosol caught Rafa when he's still finding his feet on grass (Rafa even slipped and fell twice during that match); if Rosol got to meet Tsonga for example, that would be the QF stage and by then everyone should be settled in on grass. Tsonga is quick and has the firepower to deal with Rosol.

Maybe we'll have Nole/Fed and Tsonga/Murray SFs here and I hope either Tsonga or Murray to get a maiden slam here.

luckystar , 6/30/12 5:40 AM

Can sumone please tellme why does Fed get all tight when Rafa gets bounced off early , he should use it to his advantage isnt it

And these days hes 3rd fav after Rafa n Nole so he shouldnt care and take it all easy

The final is the semi here between Fed n Nole

sanju , 6/30/12 7:04 AM

sanju, I think not only Fed but also Nole were nervous after what happened to Rafa the day before. Even for the top players, they can be nervous in a match, especially when facing a dangerous or an unknown player.

Looking at Fed's draw and I can see only Benneteau really had a chance to challenge Fed. The Tipsy of Wimbledon 2008 when he took down Roddick, may have a chance, oh not forgetting he almost took down Fed at AO2008. Unfortunate for Tipsy, he lost his match in R3 to Youzhny. Benneteau has the game suited for grass but he hasn't the stamina nor the self belief needed to win matches like this against the top players. He ran Murray and Rafa close at Canada Masters one/two years ago before losing, and he did beat Fed at Paris Masters.

Stepenak is always a tricky opponent and Nole didn't play well in the first set. Nole raised his level after that and I think Stepenak's level did drop a bit. Let's see Murray's performance today, whether he'll be more nervous, now that Rafa is out of the way for him and all pressure now is on his shoulders now to win this whole thing.

luckystar , 6/30/12 7:59 AM

Just. Too. Close. Surely wasn't a baked-a-few-cakes match for me. The old man's getting a little too old for this surface it seems. And ugh that backhand will be the death of him!

xrf , 6/30/12 8:38 AM

luckystar gasquet has a chance of beating Djokovic over 5 sets? really? Djokovic is the clear favorite to win Wimbledon

tennis2011 , 6/30/12 9:43 AM

^^^ Why not, everyone has a chance, just like Benneteau vs Fed.

luckystar , 6/30/12 10:01 AM


Zare , Danica - can you give him this strict instruction? :-) If Fed has to win it, so be it, but he has to go through either Rafa or Nole to win the slam..Rafas 90% slams have been won beating Fed or Nole or both along the way..Noles each of the 5 slams have been won beating Fed or Rafa or both on the way..I think only 3-4 slams of Fed out of 16 have been won beating Rafa or Nole along the way..

sanju , 6/30/12 11:48 AM

sanju , 6/30/12 12:02 PM

I wonder what he would have said if he had met the same fate as Rafa yesterday. Would he still have thought that it was nice to see that it is still possible if Benneteau had beaten him - I think not.

I think that Fed did well to come back from 2 sets down and I have happy for his nicer fans. End of.

schatz , 6/30/12 12:17 PM

He meant that it was possible to play the style of tennis Goran or Pete played back in the 90's when the grass was fast. He did not mean that it was still possible to beat Nadal early in a slam or something derogatory. He does contradict himself when he says it's a bit slower indoors then says the outdoor elements make the court slower too. Fed needs to make up his mind if it's slower or faster indoors. Maybe Rosol just had to power to hit through a slow court like the mighty Sod!

chr18 , 6/30/12 1:08 PM

Recent injuries... (MC..) two nasty falls during the match... obviously in pain during 4th and 5th set... AND nobody mention this???
Fed is still LOAT...(LUCKIEST blah,blah,blah)... like in match with Delpo.
His game is poor... aces and good first sevices... like Ivo or Isner... everything else is gone with the wind...
Even closing roof on sunny day for having perfect conditions for Mr Perfect...
He is going on... maybe he should buy a gooooood car to Rosol to thanks him for his ranking...

zare , 6/30/12 1:24 PM

One of the Wimbledon officials said this morning that Julien suffered from the humidity because of the closed roof. If they are going to close the roof because they think it might rain, then they might as well close it all the time because it's ALWAYS about to rain in England.

Wimbledon will lose it's reputation of keeping to tradition if they slowly turn the Championships to an indoor event.

nadline , 6/30/12 1:34 PM

Doesn't their air conditioning work? Many NFL stadiums play games indoors and all NBA games are indoors. Get the temperature right and heat and humidity shouldn't be a problem.

chr18 , 6/30/12 1:58 PM

Wimbledon is not an indoor tournament and IMO the roof should only be closed as a last resort. Keeping it closed "just in case it might rain" is not a habit they should be getting used to.

I felt a bit sorry for Benneteau in view of his injury at MC etc and then being so close to winning in the 4th set TB - it was a tremendous effort from him. Zare I think you have a point about Fed being LOAT :)

schatz , 6/30/12 2:06 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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