Roger Federer sees off Mahut

Roger Federer overcame tenacious Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to move into the Round of 16 on Friday at Roland Garros.

"I thought he did well. Struggled a little bit, but overall obviously I'm happy I came through," said the 30-year-old Swiss.

Federer dropped a set to Mahut for the first time in four meetings, as the Frenchman capitalised on his first break point opportunity to clinch the second set. He once again came under pressure in the fourth, with Mahut recovering a break of serve in the eighth game, but Federer broke again for a 6-5 lead before serving out the match.

The 2009 champion advances to the Roland Garros fourth round for the 10th time in 14 appearances. He notched his 235th match win in Grand Slam action, two days after eclipsing Jimmy Connors' Open Era mark.

Federer will next play 21-year-old Belgian David Goffin, who defeated Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-1 to become just the seventh lucky loser - and first since countryman Dick Norman in 1995 at Wimbledon - to reach the Round of 16 at a major.

"Now I'm playing against Roger, and I can't believe it," said Goffin. "When I was young I had a lot of picture in my bedroom of him. I will prepare this match like every match. We will see. I will give all my best in two days."

Goffin had been elevated into the main draw when Frenchman Gael Monfils withdrew with a knee injury, and impressed on his Grand Slam debut with five-sets wins over Radek Stepanek and Arnaud Clement in the first two rounds - also his first two tour-level wins on clay.

Federer had a chance to see Goffin's game, after watching him play Clement in the French veteran's last match at Roland Garros. "It's a nice game, smooth ball striker and talented, obviously," he said. "Otherwise he wouldn't be coming that far in this tournament. Today he had a convincing tournament, and that's exactly what he needed coming into the next round."

Date: 01.06.2012, Source: ATP


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