Julien Benneteau was within two points (on six occasions) of defeating Roger Federer when the two met last year in the third round at Wimbledon. The Swiss maestro managed to comeback from the two sets to love deficit and win in five sets. Friday evening in Rotterdam, was another story. While the Swiss has been rusty all week, it was Benneteau who had upset on his mind from the start. The Frenchman broke to open the match, setting the tone early on. Although Federer broke back for 2 all, Benneteau broke twice more to win the first set, 6-3.
The second set carried on a similar story, with the Frenchman breaking for a fourth time, leading 4-1. For brief moments it seemed Federer would turn it around, as he broke back, served his way out of a couple love 30 deficits, and evened things at 4 all, then 5 all. However Benneteau broke yet again to end the match as a Federer backhand on the run landed just wide. The Frenchman’s celebration was paused as the challenge showed the replay, but it was confirmed out, and Benneteau moves on, into the semifinals in Rotterdam.
Federer’s 6-3 7-5 loss marks the first time he has lost to a player outside the top 20 in a quarterfinal since his loss to Radek Stepanek at the 2008 Rome masters.
Press conference video.
Next for Roger Federer is the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, starting February 25.
FedererFan07.com – the #1 Federer site