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By Akshay Kohli
Reads: 932, Comments: 1
There are good players, great players, champions and their are LEGENDS. In what turned out to be a Herculean effort, Roger Federer defied all odds when he came back from the threshold of defeat to overwhelm Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-6(6), 6-1 in a nip and tuck battle that went on for 3 hours and 34 minutes to enter the second week of The Championships in Grand Fashion.
Not many would have conjectured that Benneteau would provide such awe-inspiring moments in the match as Federer was the favorite coming into this encounter. But the script had something MORE special to offer when in 36 minutes, Benneteau stunned the crowd and Federer by taking the first set. It was a great set played by the Frenchman, who stuck to the basics by holding his serve and took the only break point opportunity that came his way. With 11 winners and 2 aces, Benneteau played the set with a lot of aggression as he bewildered Federer, who was expecting Benneteau to be on the more defensive side.
From bad, things became WORSE as Benneteau won the second set, making the occasion even more dreadful for Federer, who was tight-lipped after the second set tie-break. With 4 aces, 26 winners clean winners, it was Benneteau who bedazzled Federer with some really big serves and some magnificent play. Federer squandered 3 set point chances as he seriously needed to reconsider his strategies or else he could bid adieu to his seventh Wimbledon Title hope and also the World No.1 chance. It must have crossed everyone's mind- 2 sets to 0 down, will Federer do a Nadal? Will this be the last time they see Federer at this year's Championships?
But he is FEDERER after all! He used his wand in the form of his racquet to create MAGIC on court! In the next half an hour, Federer took the third set, courtesy some lady luck and some fierce and aggressive hitting. 10 winners and 2 breaks is what it took Federer to wrap the set as he kept his hopes alive in the match. His first serve was so effective that he lost just one point when it fired. He lost just 4 points on serve to catch the Frenchman completely off-guard, who was just dumb struck at the transition Federer underwent in the third set!
The MOST ELECTRIFYING SET was the fourth one! It had everything a player, a tournament director and the crowd could ask for! Federer came out on top to show why he is the best in the business. With 5 aces and an amazing 20 winners, it was Federer who kept his composure at the most crucial moments to unravel the Frenchman, who tried his level best to finish the match. Federer notched up another gear to outperform Benneteau in the tie-breaker. With a forehand going into the net, Federer pumped his fist as the crowd went BONKERS! They knew their champion was back, WITH A BANG!
Entering into the fifth set, Federer was the crushing favorite. With the momentum behind his back, Federer started the set, a big psychological boost as he was serving first, letting Benneteau do the chase work. It did work as a rather exhausted Benneteau gave into the pressure built by Federer and got himself broken twice. Federer later wrapped the set in emphatic fashion to take the match and move into the next round where he faces Xavier Malisse.
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