Federer shaken, not stirred by second set blip

Category:[world] [Sports] [Tennis]

Roger Federer's 36-set record winning streak in grand slam tournaments was snapped by Tommy Robredo on Tuesday but that did not stop the Swiss from sweeping into the French Open semi-finals with a 7-5 1-6 6-1 6-2 victory.

The world number one and Australian Open champion had not dropped a set at a major since losing the second in his four-set triumph over Andy Roddick in the U.S. Open final last September.

Robredo dominated the second set and the normally serene Federer even became involved in a minor disagreement with the umpire at 1-5 before the Spanish ninth seed clubbed a forehand crosscourt winner to level the match.

"I'm not looking for excuses but it was windy and he used his forehand well," said Federer, who recovered from 15-40 down in his first service game in the third to romp through the next two sets and reach his 12th consecutive grand slam semi-final.

"But I was struggling then and he played well in that set. Luckily I got a good start in the third and I was on a roll again. I started to mix it up better because in the second set I wasn't happy with my game.

"I don't lose sets 6-1 that often. I was like, okay, this could become really bad here. But it's the way it happens in tennis, 20 minutes, you play the wrong way, and it's 6-1."

The Swiss, bidding for the only grand slam title to elude him so far, plays Nikolay Davydenko next after the Russian reached his fifth quarter-final in the last six grand slams.

"He's very tough to play against, he's always been a great runner from the baseline," Federer said of Davydenko, despite leading him 8-0 in career meetings.

"Before he was good but not fantastic because he had some shortcomings. He has a good mindset now and play on all surfaces."

During his run to the Australian Open title in January, Federer become the first man in 27 years to win a grand slam without dropping a set.

By winning the first set on Tuesday, the Swiss world number one broke the professional era record he had shared with John McEnroe.

(Additional reporting by Pritha Sarkar)

Federer shaken, not stirred by second set blip(Over)
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