Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerRoger Federer (SUI)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Roger Federer is through to the quarterfinals at the Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Denis Istomin 75 63, although it was far from a vintage performance from the world No. 1.
Playing in front of a packed crowd on No. 1 Court, Federer raced out of the blocks to take a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Istomin found his feet and broke the Swiss top seed to draw level at 3-3.
Both players continued to hold serve as grey clouds threatened overhead, and with Federer serving at 5-5 15-30 the rain finally arrived and play was suspended.
The players returned a short while later and Istomin’s small window of opportunity immediately arrived. He held three break points in the opening game after the stoppage, but three big first serves helped Federer avoid trouble.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion doesn’t tend to give his opponents too many chances, so it felt like Istomin’s ship may have sailed when those break points slipped by the way-side. That feeling was compounded in the next game when Federer converted his second set point.
The second set started like the first, with Federer stamping his authority early by breaking Istomin’s opening service game to take a 3-0 lead. This time, however, there was no way back for the Uzbek player as Federer continued to serve out the match.
"I thought I played a pretty good match," said Federer. "He did really well to come back into the first set because I didn't play a poor game to get broken in the first set. So things got a bit complicated. He played well. Then obviously the rain delay made it a bit more nerve‑wracking.
"But happy I found a way out of it. Took the right decisions in the rain delay to come through and not panic. So I'm very happy with my performance."
Next up for Federer is the winner of the match between John Isner and Janko Tipsarevic. The 30-year-old is also still playing doubles with Stanislas Wawrinka, as the Swiss duo continue their gold medal defence.
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