Fighting Federer recovers from the depths to reach quarter-finals

January 25th, 2009 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger FedererMelbourne, Jan 25(DPA) Roger Federer made his fourth career recovery from two sets to love down, surviving an early storm before subduing Tomas Berdych 4-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open Sunday.Federer last performed the ultimate comeback in the 2005 Miami final against Rafael Nadal.

“I tried to ride out the storm,” said the second-seeded 13-time Grand Slam champion, “In the first set there wasn’t a lot I could do.”

“He did well and pushed me to the limit,” Federer said after a struggle lasting almost four hours. “But I was able to fight back. I felt fine and could have gone another couple of sets out there today.”

World number nine Andy Roddick reached the quarters for the first time in two years, with a comprehensive defeat of Spain’s Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-1, 6-3.

Argentine eighth seed Juan Del Potro recovered against Croatias Marin Cilic 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 for a quarter-final place, his second straight at a Grand Slam after the US Open.

Federer advanced with 20 aces and 61 winners in his tight contest with Berdych. He broke on eight of 12 opportunities

Berdych had it all his own way in the first sets, with Federer making all the errors.

Federer began turning the corner in his struggle as he broke Berdych in the seventh game of the third set to start his momentum shift.

In the fourth set and down a break, the frustrated Berdych needed on-court treatment for a left thigh complaint, a sure sign that his body as well as his mind was starting to fade.

Federer raced out to a double break in the fifth but eventually needed three match points to get the job done in late afternoon.

Federers only loss to Berdych from nine matches came at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

The battle for the women’s number one ranking tightened as top seed Jelena Jankovic was upset 6-1, 6-4 by Marion Bartoli of France.

But compatriot Alize Cornet was unable to hold onto a 5-2 lead in the third set, succumbing to third seed Dinara Safina 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.

“Maybe she was just not ready to win this match, because she had it all in her hands,” said Safina, who chastised herself for a loss of concentration.

The defeat of Jankovic opens the door for rivals Safina, Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams to take over the summit should one of them lift the title next Saturday.

“Maybe the ranking will change, (we have) the whole year ahead of us. There are a lot of tournaments, a lot of battles out there,” said the defeated Serb, who has yet to win a Grand Slam trophy.

Bartoli profited on five of her dozen break point chances as she improved her record against Jankovic to 4-3.

“I was really confident, I knew I could beat Jelena on a good day,” said Bartoli. “It was just a matter of executing it, playing the right shot at the right time and dont make too many mistakes.

“I was not overwhelmed by the situation, and I just went for my shots - everything went in today. It was just a great match.”

Against Cornet, Safina advanced on her second match point, an overhead winner.

“I’m still sad about this match,” said Safina, who said she is not thinking about any possible chance of reaching number one.

“I’m a little bit disappointed about this match … playing against this girl and allowing myself to do these kind of mistakes.”

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