Argentine's Acasuso makes Federer sweat

World number two Roger Federer managed to qualify for the French Open's third round after a hard battle against Argentine's Jose Acasuso. The Swiss had to play four sets, including two tie-breaks.


AFP - Roger Federer survived a French Open second round scare on Thursday when unheralded Argentine Jose Acasuso threw away a golden opportunity to cause a major Roland Garros sensation.

World number two Federer, claimed a 7-6 (10/8), 5-7, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 win but Acasuso was left to regret wasting four set points in the opening set and another in the third where he twice served for a 2-1 lead.

Acasuso, who has only progressed beyond the second round of a Grand Slam once in 28 attempts, cut a weary figure by the end, worn down as much by his own physical shortcomings as the Swiss star's pinpoint hitting.

Federer, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal here for the past three years and still missing a French Open from his 13-title Grand Slam collection, now faces either French 32nd seed Paul-Henri Mathieu or Pablo Andujar of Spain for a place in the last 16. 

"Jose played well. It was a fun match to play with so many ups and downs but it was the kind of match that is good knowing that physically and mentally it wasn't a problem," said Federer.

"I am not in that sort of situation very often although the conditions were slow so that was in his favour. He looked tired to me by the end so I just tightened the game and closed him out. That was a good feeling."

Acasuso broke first to lead 4-2 before Federer immediately hit back.

The Argentinian then squandered four set points in the first set tiebreaker and Federer made him pay when he secured the opener with a deft drop shot.

Despite going a break down early in the second set, the 26-year-old Acasuso roared back in the third and nipped ahead at 6-5.

He levelled the tie when he drove deep with a crunching forehand which Federer could only push back into the base of the net.

Breaks in the first and third games of the third set gave Acasuso a 4-0 lead although his movement became affected when he twisted his right ankle trying to stretch to a Federer pass in the fifth game.

Acasuso wasted a set point in the eighth game as Federer sped from 1-5 down to 6-5 in front before the South American stopped the rot to take the set into another tiebreaker.

Federer cruised through that and then the fourth set against a shattered Acasuso to keep his Roland Garros campaign on track.  

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