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Federer fends off Mahut to reach fourth round

ESPN staff
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Roger Federer will meet David Goffin in the last 16 © PA Photos
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Roger Federer shrugged off the challenge of an inspired Nicolas Mahut to book his place in the fourth round of the French Open.

The world No. 3 was pegged back after winning the opening set, but ultimately proved too strong for the Frenchman as he sealed a 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5 victory at Roland Garros.

Mahut, perhaps best known for being on the losing end of a record-breaking match at Wimbledon in 2010, sent the Parisian crowd into raptures when he won the second set, but he was unable to sustain his challenge as the Swiss progressed unscathed.

Federer looked to be on course for a straight-sets victory when he sailed through the opening set, but he was broken by the world No. 89, who converted his first break point of the match to snatch the second set.

Federer established his lead with two breaks of serve in the third, and when Mahut threatened to force the match to an unlikely fifth set, the Swiss smothered any hopes of an upset, edging out the Frenchman with a late break of serve.

Standing between Federer and a place in the quarter-finals is Belgian David Goffin, who continued his stunning run at Roland Garros with victory over Poland's Lukasz Kubot.

The world No. 109, who had already beaten Arnaud Clement and Radek Stepanek en route to the third round, claimed a surprise 7-6(4) 7-5 6-1 victory to become the first lucky loser to reach the fourth round of a grand slam since Dick Norman at Wimbledon in 1995.

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