Roger Federer nearly became the second victim of a massive upset in the men's draw at Wimbledon, but managed to pull off a spectacular comeback from two sets down against Julian Benneteau, prevailing 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-1 in his third round match.
Benneteau capitalized on his lone chance to break in the first set while holding his own serve throughout to put Federer in a surprising hole. He continued his impressive play in the second set, though he didn't make it easy on himself. Federer broke Benneteau in the Frenchman's first service game, but Benneteau broke him right back. They held serve all the way to a tiebreak, which Benneteau won comfortably.
Federer broke quickly again in the third set, and Benneteau didn't have an answer. He appeared to make the decision to save his energy for the fourth set early on, more or less letting Federer take the third. Both players served extremely well in a very well-played fourth set en route to a tiebreak, which was as even as the rest of the set. Federer came up big at the end, forcing Benneteau into an error on set point to win the tiebreak 8-6.
Throughout the fourth set tiebreak, Benneteau appeared the be throwing haymakers, perhaps knowing that his fitness wouldn't hold up all the way through a fifth set. He appeared to pick up either a knee or upper leg injury during his first service game, but somehow pulled out an ace and an unreturned serve to hold.
This would be the last game Bennateau won in the match. He provided little opposition on Federer's ensuing service game, then was broken on his following service game. He simply didn't have the fitness to keep the match going, as Federer coasted to a 6-1 victory in the final set.
In earlier matches on Friday, favorites Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova won their matches. American Sam Querrey also had a big day, pulling off an upset win over Milos Raonic.
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