Federer Survives Opening Round Battle

July 29, 2008 07:30 AM

World No. 1 and defending champion Roger Federer survived his opening round match against American Robby Ginepri, prevailing 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-0 at the Lindner Tennis Center on Tuesday.

Federer, who fired 21 aces, avoided his first three-match losing streak since dropping four matches in a row in July-August 2002. Last week in Toronto Federer fell to Frenchman Gilles Simon in a three-set opening round match and prior to that in the Wimbledon final to Rafael Nadal on July 6.

After dropping the first set in a tie-break, Federer found himself on the brink of defeat as Ginepri served for the match at 6-5. But Federer broke at 30-40 and then grabbed a 6-4 lead in the tie-break before leveling the match.

In the third set, Federer lost only one point on serve and broke Ginepri three times as he improved to 5-0 lifetime against the Georgia resident.

Federer converted six of 16 break points while saving three of six on his serve in the two hour and 13 minute match. Going into the third set, Federer converted three of 10 break points.

"I mean I actually played okay I thought throughout the match. I Just missed some opportunities," said Federer. "I thought I was the better player actually throughout the match. I was down a set and 6-5 with the break. So it was dangerous today no doubt, but I believed in my chance all the way to the end."

Ginepri, added, "Honestly I was just caught up in the match and I didn't have too many feelings. Usually I would get pretty nervous or tight at that point, but from the first set on at four-all, five-four I was already, my anxiety was at a pretty high level. So the looking across the net and seeing Roger and playing in a high stakes match, it's tough. But I really didn't have a chance to really think about that game too much. Just kind of stepped up and played a couple sloppy points. Went into a tiebreak and obviously lost it."

In a first round match, 2002 Cincinnati champion Carlos Moya defeated Serb Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(5), 7-5 in just over two hours while improving his career tournament record to 17-9.

After an opening set that didn't include a break point for either player, Moya broke for the first time to go up 3-2. He lost serve in the eighth game but then broke in the 11th game. He then served out the match to even his match record at 16-16 on the season. Moya will take on No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko in the second round on Wednesday.

Moya converted two of seven break points while saving five of six break points on his serve. Tipsarevic's first serve percentage was only 44 and he double-faulted six times.

No. 10 seed Fernando Verdasco overcame nine double faults to defeat qualifier Victor Estrella of the Dominican Republic 6-3, 7-5. The Spaniard saved all five break points he faced while converting three of eight break point chances.

No. 11 seed Richard Gasquet of France defeated countryman Michael Llodra for the second week in a row as he advanced to the second round with a 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 ret. victory on Tuesday.

Last week at the Rogers Masters in Toronto, the top Frenchman prevailed in three sets before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

After a slow start, Gasquet took control of the second set with breaks in the second and sixth games. He served out the set and then broke Llodra in the first game of the final set before the left-hander retired after 70 minutes with a left arm injury.

In second round play, top Swede Robin Soderling hit 10 aces and surprised No. 12 seed Tommy Robredo 7-6(6), 6-4. Soderling never faced break point on his serve and broke the Spaniard in the third game of the second set. He will face the winner of Philipp Kohlschreiber and No. 6 Andy Roddick on Thursday.

No. 16 seed Ivo Karlovic lost only two points on first serve (37 of 39) en route to a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over Argentine Jose Acasuso. The towering Croat fired 17 aces and he will next face Federer in the third round on Thursday.

In the longest match of the tournament so far (2:35), French lucky loser Arnaud Clement fired a career-high 25 aces in a 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-3 first round win over Swede Thomas Johansson. The all-time series between the two veterans is now 6-6.

Johansson, who hit 28 aces, including 12 in the second set, was broken for the second straight time in the fourth game of the final set as he double-faulted. Clement closed out the match with his 25th ace.

American wild card John Isner set an ATP record by winning all 39 first serve points in his 7-6(2), 6-3 victory over Italian qualifier Andrea Stoppini.

Isner fired 17 aces and only lost nine points, all on second serve, in 11 games. Since the ATP began keeping match statistics in 1991, no player had won more than 35 points without losing one in a match.

Frenchman Florent Serra saved a match point in the second set tie-break and rallied to defeat German qualifier Benjamin Becker 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4.

Serra trailed 5-6 in the tie-break before winning the next three points to level the match at one set each. In the final set, Becker was broken in the third game and Serra never faced break point in his last four service games.

He will face World No. 2 and seven-time '08 title winner Rafael Nadal in the second round on Wednesday. The Spaniard comes in with a career-best 29-match winning streak.

 

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