Dimitrov outlasts Baghdatis in ABN quarterfinals
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Julien Benneteau upset an out of sorts Roger Federer 6-3, 7-5 Friday to reach the semifinals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Defending champion Federer struggled with his serve and the timing of his ground shots throughout the match and Benneteau capitalized, punishing Federer on his second serves, to record his second victory over the Swiss master.
"It is one of the biggest wins, for sure," the 39-ranked Frenchman said. "To play against Roger, Friday night, full house, it's a dream and I played like in a dream."
The defeat ended top-seeded Federer's quest to become the first man to win the Rotterdam tournament three times.
It also gave Benneteau a measure of revenge for last year's Wimbledon, when he blew a two-set lead to lose to Federer, and the London Olympics, where Federer beat him 6-2, 6-2.
The Frenchman set the tone by breaking Federer in the match's first game, pouncing on a backhand that hit the net to power a backhand pass down the line for the game.
He looked to have stumbled in the 4th game when he served two double faults to allow Federer to break back, but Benneteau broke again in the 7th and 9th games to take the set.
He raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set before Federer again reeled off three straight games. The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion looked like he was on his way back when he forced three break points at 5-5, but Benneteau grittily held service.
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