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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)




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