Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Reigning champion Novak Djokovic and
six-time titlist Roger Federer both notched come-from-behind third-round wins
Friday at The Championships, Wimbledon.
The world No. 1 Djokovic dropped the first set against Czech veteran Radek
Stepanek before charging back for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory over
his 28th-seeded counterpart, while a third-seeded Federer came from two-sets-
to-love down to sneak past more-than-game 29th-seeded Frenchman Julien
Benneteau in five sets, 4-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, under the roof
on Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Morning rain caused a delay and prompted officials to close the translucent
covering over tennis' most famous court, but it was not raining when Djokovic
or Federer took to the court.
"I was a little bit surprised, when I saw sunshine, that the roof is closed,"
Djokovic said. "Obviously they're relying on a forecast that I don't think is
very reliable here. But OK."
The high-flying Djokovic advanced in 2 hours, 49 minutes and broke the 33-
year-old Stepanek seven times while getting broken only once and smacking nine
"I was a set down but managed to make the crucial break in the opening game of
the second set," Djokovic said. "And then I thought I played really well."
The Serbian star is now 30-1 over his last five majors and 42-2 over his last
seven Grand Slams.
The 25-year-old Djokovic reached his first-ever Wimbledon final and captured
his first-ever title here with a victory over Rafael Nadal a year ago. Nadal
beat Djokovic in the French Open final 18 days ago, but the mighty Spaniard
will not appear in a sixth straight Grand Slam title match after being shocked
by 100th-ranked Czech Lukas Rosol under the roof on Centre Court on Thursday
Djokovic's round-of-16 opponent on Monday will be will fellow Serb Viktor
Troicki, who upended 15th-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 on Day 5
of this fortnight.
Meanwhile, Federer was tested mightily by Benneteau, who was two points away
from a huge upset on three occasions in the fourth set.
Benneteau raced out to the two-set lead before Federer rebounded with an easy
The fourth set was intense, as Federer forced the tiebreak with a brilliant
service game. The super Swiss converted on his second set point when Benneteau
netted a forehand, and the Frenchman then fell apart, physically, in the
The 16-time major champion Federer was up 2-1 in the final stanza when
Benneteau summoned a trainer while suffering with leg cramps. Four games
later, it was over, as the Frenchman netted one final backhand after 3 hours,
34 minutes of compelling tennis.
Federer fired 14 aces and broke Benneteau five times, while the Frenchman
settled for only two breaks and struck 15 aces in a losing cause.
It marked Federer's second two-sets-to-love down comeback at the AELTC, as he
also overcame Colombian Alejandro Falla here two years ago.
The brave Benneteau suffered a small bone break in his wrist just six weeks
Up next for the iconic Federer will be Belgian Xavier Malisse.
A top-10 upset occurred when 26th-seeded Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny
dismissed eighth-seeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Youzhny is
into the Wimbledon round of 16 for a seventh time, but has yet to reach a
quarterfinal at the AELTC. Tipsarevic typically plays his worst tennis on
grass, as evidenced by his inability to get past the second round here the
last four years.
Nifty 18th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet still has yet to drop a set
after upending 12th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, while
Malisse also posted a third-round upset by tackling 17th-seeded Spanish
lefthander Fernando Verdasco in five sets, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
Gasquet was a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2007. while the 31-year-old Malisse
reached the Wimbledon semis 10 years ago.
The second round concluded Friday when 6-foot-6 American Sam Querrey surprised
rising 21st-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (9-7), 7-6
(10-8), 6-4 in a match that was completed Friday after being suspended because
of darkness on Thursday. The two players combined for 46 aces, including 25
Querrey will meet 16th-seeded Croat Marin Cilic on Saturday.
Additional third-round results saw 31st-seeded German Florian Mayer hold off
6-foot-8 Pole Jerzy Janowicz 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 2-6, 7-5, and Uzbekistan's Denis
Istomin pop 16 aces and dismiss the aforementioned Falla 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
(7-5). Mayer will meet Gasquet, while Istomin will encounter Youzhny on
The third round is scheduled to wrap up on Saturday, including matches for
fourth-seeded British favorite Andy Murray and three-time Wimbledon runner-up
Andy Roddick. The three-time Grand Slam runner-up and three-time Wimbledon
semifinalist Murray will take on capable Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, while a
30th-seeded Roddick should have his hands full with seventh-seeded David
Ferrer of Spain.
The former world No. 1 Roddick lost to Federer in a trio of past finals at the
Also slated for action on Saturday are fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga,
former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro, 10th-seeded American
Mardy Fish, and American comeback kid Brian Baker, who recently returned
to the tour for the first time since the mid 2000s after having a bevy of
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