30 Jun 2012

Federer gutses it out against Benneteau at Wimbledon

8:33 am on 30 June 2012

Roger Federer needed a gutsy comeback to make the fourth round at Wimbledon on Saturday.

The Swiss tennis great came from two sets down on centre court to beat Frenchman Julien Benneteau in five and clinch an eighth career fightback from that position.

The six-times champion and third seed came within two points of crashing to his worst Wimbledon defeat in 10 years, but Federer showed his guile and experience to book a showdown with unseeded Belgian Xavier Malisse for a place in the quarter-finals.

Benneteau won the opening set 6-4 then the second in a tiebreaker, but Federer raced back into contention to take out the third by a dominant 6-2 scoreline.

Federer then looked creaky again, needing a tiebreaker to force a decider, but from there he assumed control, breaking in the fourth game to win the fifth set 6-1.

The defending champion Novak Djokovic dropped his first set but recovered to beat the Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in four.

Giant American Sam Querrey ended the run of Canada's Milos Raonic in four sets to make the third round.

Belgian great Kim Clijsters eliminated Russian 12th seed Vera Zvonareva, who retired while trailing 4-3 in the second set.

Third-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska knocked out the last British woman Heather Watson with a 6-0 6-2 trouncing, while top seed Maria Sharapova of Russia also progressed.

The New Zealand number one Marina Erakovic is through to the third round of doubles.