Federer has 'fun' winning error-strewn Acasuso fright

There are times, particularly when attention is diverted by the far more serious matter of lunch, when the main show court here at the French Open can be as deserted as a Metro station during one of the strikes that periodically paralyse Paris. By mid-afternoon yesterday, however, there was barely an empty seat on Philippe Chatrier Court as word of Roger Federer's second-round travails against Jose Acasuso spread.

At one set-all and 5-1 down in the third set, Federer was in danger of making his earliest exit from a Grand Slam tournament since losing to Luis Horna in the first round here six years ago. Acasuso, who had lost the first set after scorning four set points, had a point for the third at 5-2, but to relief all round Federer took 12 of the last 15 games to win 7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 and keep alive his hopes of winning the only Grand Slam title that has eluded him.

"I had a standing ovation at the end, and that's very moving each time," Federer said afterwards. "I have a feeling I'm the grand favourite here in Paris, and that's very nice."

He added: "I'm not trying to seduce the crowd. I just try and play beautiful tennis. If they like it, great. If they don't like it, nothing I can do. I also think being a fair player is very important to me, and this is something people seem to like."

Acasuso, who had arrived here having won only once in the last three months, looked like a man who had been given the winning numbers for the lottery and then forgotten them. "I'm angry," the 26-year-old Argentine, ranked No 45 in the world, said. "Even though it was Federer, it was a near miss. I was so close to winning."

Federer said he was thrilled to win what he called "a fun match". For periods it looked anything but enjoyable for the former world No 1, who made a succession of errors. The Swiss, however, is a master at turning matches around. At this year's Australian Open he recovered from two sets down to beat Tomas Berdych and in Melbourne last year he won after trailing by two sets to one against Janko Tipsarevic, who meets Andy Murray in today's third round.

Serena Williams, having laboured against Klara Zakopalova in the previous round, dropped only two games against Virginia Ruano Pascual, but her sister Venus had to fight all the way against Lucie Safarova, who was a set up when the match was held over for bad light on Wednesday evening. The Czech had a match point when Williams served at 4-5 in yesterday's decider, but the American held on to win 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 after two hours and 30 minutes.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam