Federer Shaky in First Set, but Manages Win to Reach Olympic QFs

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Fresh off his clean win against Julien Benneteau in his second round match, world no. 1 Roger Federer looked poised to repeat his performance against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. The Swiss set the pace early and rushed to a 3-0 in the first set. Looking as if things were firmly in his grasp, Federer began hitting unforced errors allowing Istomin to not only hold onto his first service game, but break back against the 17-time grand slam winner. Back on serve, Federer held his own but was not at his best and gave Istomin numerous opportunities to break. However, at 5-6 in the first set the Swiss maestro pulled through with a break to take it 7-5.

Federer recovered quickly from his shaky start, and reeled in the unforced errors in the second set. He again raced to a 3-0 lead, but this time was able to hang on without being troubled on his serve. In a match that lasted 81-minutes, Federer endured to a 7-5, 6-3 victory. The reigning Wimbledon champion struck an alarming 24 unforced errors compared to 23 winners. On a more positive note, the Swiss looked sharper on his net game, winning 17 points up front.

Vying for his first Olympic singles medal, Federer will either play American John Isner or 7th seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in the quarterfinals. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Federer was upset by American James Blake at the quarterfinal stage, losing in straight sets.

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