Federer shocked by Benneteau in Rotterdam, Simon advances

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Roger Federer put in an incredibly disappointing performance in the Rotterdam as Julien Benneteau became the first Frenchman since Fabrice Santoro to defeat Federer in straight sets. It was surprisingly poor from the offset as Federer was broke in the opening service game, and five times in total in the 3-6 5-7 defeat. He would recover to 3-3 after falling 0-2 down only to lose the last three games of the set, two on serve, as errors flowed from the Swiss’ racket.

The second followed much of the same script as the first with Federer going down a break early only to recover and seemingly gain all the momentum back. When Federer served to stay in the match for the first time he was taken to as far as deuce but managed to hold for 5-5 and it looked like Benneteau was ready to collapse under the pressure as he fell two break points down at 15-40. However, the Frenchman held after eventually saving a third and forced Federer to serve for a tie break. Going down 0-30, Federer recovered to 30-30 only to double fault on an incredibly important point. Match point down, another Federer error sealed his fate as he exits surprisingly at the quarter final stage, opening the draw up.

Gilles Simon outlasted Martin Klizan to move into the semi finals with a 6-7(6) 6-3 3-0 ret. win. Despite fourteen break point opportunities in the first set, there were no breaks with both players being incredibly wasteful on key points. It was much of the same in the tie break with 11 points won on return out of 14. Klizan would hold for 7-6 after failing to convert his first set point and would break the serve of Simon once more to take the tie break 8-6.

With momentum on his side, he broke through in the second only to drop serve straight away. Simon remained wasteful on return but would manage to break through again finally for a 4-2 lead but more importantly Klizan picked up an injury that would prove key to the rest of the match. Simon had two opportunities to break for the set but failed to convert them at 5-2 but would serve it out anyway to tie it up. The injury continued to hamper Klizan and he would eventually call it a day, retiring at 0-3* down in the third.

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