LONDON (Reuters) - Roger Federer set pulses racing as he diced with danger for more than three hours before dousing the fireworks of French buccaneer Julien Benneteau with a pulsating 4-6 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-1 Wimbledon third-round win on Friday.
Just 24 hours after Rafa Nadal's demise, Frenchman Benneteau sent shockwaves of equal magnitude around the All England Club as he destroyed Federer during the first two sets with ferocious forehands, belting backhands and incredible reflex shots.
The Frenchman stood two points from victory in the fourth set but Federer showed the mental strength that has earned him a record 16 grand slam titles to stand firm as he steered the match into a fifth set.
Once there, Benneteau seemed like a spent force as he limped between points and even called on the trainer to massage his exhausted limbs back to life but it was to little avail as the Swiss master booked a fourth-round match against Belgium's Xavier Malisse.
(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ed Osmond)
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