Federer Survives Scare to Make Last 16 in Paris

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Roger Federer survived a spirited challenge Friday from local favorite Nicolas Mahut to qualify for the last 16 of the French Open.

Roger Federer survived a spirited challenge Friday from local favorite Nicolas Mahut to qualify for the last 16 of the French Open.

The Swiss third seed took the first set but the 89th-ranked Frenchman rallied to level the score in the second.

It appeared normal service has resumed in the third as Federer dropped just two games, but the 16-time Grand Slam champion needed all of his experience to prevent it going to a decider.

The final score was 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Federer, who last won at Roland Garros in 2009, meets Belgian qualifier David Goffin, ranked 109, for the first time in round four.

If he prevails, Federer will face a seed for the first time in the quarterfinals in the shape of ninth seed Juan Martin Del Petro, who beat Marin Cilic on Friday, or seventh-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych, who took five sets to defeat Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

Elsewhere, local hero and fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ousted Italy’s Fabio Fognini 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 and faces Stanislas Wawrinka after the Swiss player overcame two tiebreak losses to beat 11th seed Gilles Simon of France 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2.

In the women's draw, world No. 2 Maria Sharapova demolished Ayumi Morita of Japan on Friday to book passage into the third round. Sharapova handed out a 6-1, 6-1 thrashing to the world No. 84 and has now spent less than two hours on court in her first two matches at Roland Garros.

Earlier, 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova rolled back the years to defeat world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in their third-round match.

For the Pole, it was her sixth defeat in a row against Kuznetsova, in a streak stretching back to 2009.

Kuznetsova will now play 21st seed Sara Errani after the Italian came back from a first-set thrashing to defeat 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

 

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