Federer scrapes past wildcard

World number one Roger Federer saved himself from embarrassment when he came from behind to defeat 1,078th-ranked Takao Suzuki to scrape into the Japan Open semi-finals in Tokyo on Friday.

    Japanese wildcard Takao Suzuki took Roger Federer to the limit

    Federer, who is playing for the first time in Japan, finally won 4-6 7-5 7-6 after an inspired Suzuki was lifted by his home crowd.

     

    The Japanese player was making his return to the game after a sustaining a serious shoulder injury in January, winning the first set in a memorable comeback performance.

     

    Federer leveled the match at one set apiece, but Suzuki regained his composure to take the last set into a tie-break.

     

    In the end, the Swiss player's class and experience shone through as he easily won the tie-break 7-3 to close out an enthralling match.

     

    Relieved at not being overthrown by a player more than 1,000 places below him, Federer will now play either Finland's Jarkko Nieminen or German Benjamin Becker in the other semi-final.

     

    "I could see the headlines," Federer told reporters.

     

    "'Federer loses to a guy outside the top 1,000.' I'm glad I won - it saved my image."

     

    "His serve is incredible for such a little guy," Federer said.

     

    "I had to dig deep and come up with a good breaker in the end. There's always a fear of losing. It was a relief."

     

    In other quarter final action, South Korean Lee Hyung-taik upset second seed Tommy Robredo 7-6 4-6 6-1 to advance to the semis where he will meet either Tim Henman or Mario Ancic.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Musta'ribeen, Israel's agents who pose as Palestinians

    Who are the Israeli agents posing as Palestinians?

    Musta'ribeen are an elite Israeli undercover unit that disguises themselves as Arabs or Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    100 years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.