The Washington Post

Wimbledon 2012: Roger Federer pulls out a five-set win over Julien Benneteau

View Photo Gallery: Roger Federer faced the 29th seed, Julien Bennetteau, on Centre Court.

This time, it nearly was Roger Federer’s turn.

The six-time Wimbledon champion was pushed to five sets Friday by Julien Benneteau of France, a day after Rafael Nadal fell victim to an upset at the All England Club. Federer pulled out a 4-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 victory.

Federer had not lost in the third round of a major tournament since being bounced from the 2004 French Open. On Thursday, Nadal, the No. 2 seed, fell to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol, a shocker that Federer said wasn’t on his mind.

“You focus on your match and Julien was playing amazing. ... I knew it was going to be a difficult match,” Federer told the BBC. “He played so well, he was making me doubt obviously for most of the match and that’s a credit to him. He just played amazing, I thought.”

Julien Benneteau took Roger Federer to five sets. (LEON NEAL / AFP / Getty Iamges)

“It was a tough match,” Federer said. “It was brutal. A bit of luck maybe on my side, who knows? I tried hard, I fought until the very end . Obviously he was hurt [a trainer had come out to attend to Benneteau], I guess, in some way in the fifth set. I tried in the third, fourth and fifth just to stay alive and come back.”

In other men’s matches, the tournament’s top seed, Novak Djokovic, Djokovic advanced with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Radek Stepanek.

On the women’s side, Maria Sharapova, the top seed, advanced with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Su-Wei Hsieh. Kim Clijsters advanced whenVera Zvonereva was forced to retire because of respiratory issues. Clijsters was leading 6-3, 4-3.

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP


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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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