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Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 20:26 UK

Federer through after fightback

FRENCH OPEN
Venue: Roland Garros Date: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live on BBC Red Button, live streaming and daily text commentary on BBC Sport website, updates on BBC Radio 5 Live plus second week commentary on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. TV coverage on Eurosport.


Roger Federer

Highlights - Federer recovers to beat Acasuso

Roger Federer mounted a stirring comeback to beat Jose Acasuso in a tense second-round clash and keep alive his hopes of a first French Open title.

The second seed saved four set points to take the first set but his Argentine opponent turned on the style to level.

Acasuso, the world number 45, led 5-1 in the third set but Federer recovered to win 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 7-6 (7-2) 6-2.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro had no problems beating Viktor Troicki 6-3 7-5 6-0 to book his place in round three.

Fourth seed Novak Djokovic did not begin his match against Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky until late on and play ended for the day with the Serbian leading 6-3 6-4, while Juan Carlos Ferrero and Philipp Kohlschreiber were locked at two sets all.

Federer, who has reached the semi-final stage, at least, of the last 19 Grand Slam tournaments since losing to Gustavo Kuerten in the third round in Paris in 2004, was in real danger of making an early exit.

Once I won the third set, I had my grip on the match, I was stronger, physically and mentally

Roger Federer

The 27-year-old Swiss star, runner-up at Roland Garros in each of the last three years, struggled on his serve from the start and Acasuso's aggressive approach caused him plenty of problems in the first set.

Federer had to battle to force a tie-break, where two aces helped him save four set points before he finally, and perhaps undeservedly, snatched the set.

Undeterred, Acasuso continued to attack in the second set and his tactic of targeting the Federer backhand with some thumping groundstrokes helped him break to go 6-5 up.

An audacious drop-shot winner off Acasuso's serve saw Federer save another set point in the next game but the man from Posadas was not going to be denied again and he held to level the match.

The third set began disastrously for Federer, who looked rattled when he trailed 3-0 after a double-break and was soon 5-1 down.

But Acasuso was unable to finish him off and visibly lost confidence as the set slipped away from him, eventually losing it on a tie-break.

By now Federer had regained his own composure and, once he had dismantled his opponent's serve again at the beginning of the fourth set, he was relatively untroubled as he completed his victory.

606: DEBATE

"I was a bit lucky to come back in the third set. He was a double break up, there were not many shots he was missing and he was serving well," Federer said afterwards.

"Once I won the third set, I had my grip on the match, I was stronger, physically and mentally.

"Of course, I'm thrilled to be through. It was sort of a fun match to be part of with so many ups and downs."

Federer will play Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in round three.

He is scheduled to meet Del Potro in the quarter-finals, and the Argentine continued his impressive progress by completely out-playing Troicki apart from a brief spell in the second set.

Juan Martin del Potro
Del Potro will play Russia's Igor Andreev in round three

The 20-year-old took just two hours and three minutes to complete his victory and will play Russia's Igor Andreev next.

"I felt good," Del Potro said. "I played well until I was 5-1 up in the second set and then I lost my concentration.

"It was a good thing I won the second set, then during the third he wanted to leave and not be on court so I took advantage of that."

Elsewhere, sixth seed Andy Roddick brushed aside Ivo Minar 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-2),while Gael Monfils made short work of Romania's Victor Crivoi to win 6-4 6-3 6-3.

But ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed the fervent support of the Paris crowd to help him through a thrilling match with Juan Monaco.

The Argentine clay-court specialist pushed Tsonga all the way before the big Frenchman prevailed, winning 7-5 2-6 6-1 7-6 (10-8).

Number 10 seed Nikolay Davydenko had to wait overnight before finishing his match against Argentina's Diego Junqueira, but the Russian quickly wrapped up a 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-2 victory.

Spain's Tommy Robredo, seeded 16th, saw off compatriot Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4 6-4 6-3.



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see also
French Open day five as it happened
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French Open day five pictures
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Battling Murray sees off Starace
27 May 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
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Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Rafa the unstoppable?
21 May 09 |  Tennis


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