• French Open, Day Eight

Federer digs deep to sink Goffin

ESPN staff
June 3, 2012 « Djokovic sneaks through after five-set epic | Chartbeat test »
Roger Federer dropped the first set to David Goffin © PA Photos
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World No. 3 Roger Federer was pushed hard on his way to a fourth-round win over David Goffin at the French Open.

Federer surrendered the first set before bouncing back to record a 5-7 7-5 6-2 6-4 success, which books him a place in the quarter-finals.

He will next meet Juan Martin Del Potro or Tomas Berdych, ahead of a potential last-four clash against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Goffin, 21, admitted before the match that he had posters of Federer on his wall as a child - but did not look overawed in an evenly-matched opening frame in Paris.

He stood on the brink of making history: with a win, he would have been the first man since 1996 to reach the quarter-final stage on his grand slam debut.

And he took a step closer to achieving that goal when he bagged the first set with one break of serve - an early success that made him the talk of the Roland Garros complex.

However, he was unable to sustain the charge, as Federer's class eventually began to tell as the match rumbled on. That said, the Swiss maestro will appreciate the need to sharpen his game ahead of sterner tests to come: he has dropped sets in three successive matches.

Up next for Federer will be the victor of the clash between Tomas Berdych and No. 9 seed Juan Martin del Potro, with the Argentine leading 7-6(6) 1-6 6-3 when the match was suspended due to bad light.

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