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Top-seeded Swiss Roger Federer started off his London Olympics campaign with a hard-earned 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Alejandro Falla of Colombia on Saturday. Falla played well in patches and broke Federer twice, but in the end the Swiss fired seven aces and hammered 37 winners to muster a hard-earned victory in 1 hour and 37 minutes of play.
After the match, Federer admitted, “I've struggled against Falla in the past at times. I was able to mix it up well and played well for the first set and a half, then all of a sudden I missed the match points, things got difficult and he played a great match to come back. I'm relieved of course. Falla is a great player, counter-punches well, plays really well and made things really difficult for me.”
The Swiss genius further added that “When I play for Switzerland I try to be a good ambassador as I travel around for eight months of the year. But it's different having the Swiss cross on your jersey and you do feel the pressure. It's not something that we're used to; everybody's talking about it on the street in Switzerland. It only comes every four years so it's unusual and I feel that too.”
In the next encounter, Federer will take on Frenchman Julien Benneteau, who beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-3. After the match, the Frenchman quoted, “I wanted to win because yesterday I marched in the Opening Ceremony. It was something I wanted to do. Then I took the bus over here.”
On the other hand, American John Isner fired 24 aces to get past Olivier Rochus of Belgium in a 7-6(1), 6-4 win in 74 minutes. Isner quoted “It’s very special; it’s such an honor to be here at the Olympics to represent our team and to represent our country. After the match, when I won, there was a nice ‘USA’ chant going on and it really kind of gives you chills.”
In his second-round encounter, Isner will take on Tunisian Malek Jaziri, who overcame Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei 7-6(10), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes. Frenchman Gilles Simon also earned easy victory in the opening round by beating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-2 in 74 minutes.
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