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Federer overcomes Alves challenge

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:59

Federer nearly had as many unforced errors as winners in a tougher-than-expected 6-3 7-5 6-4 victory over the 26-year-old Alves, who is ranked 137th in the world.

Trying to salvage one Grand Slam in a disappointing year, Federer advanced to a third-round meeting against either number 28 seed Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic or Australian Chris Guccione.

“These are the early-round matches, so it will only get better from here,” Federer said. “I was never really in danger, so it was actually pretty good for me.”

His performance may have raised more questions about the overall state of Federer’s game. He had 54 winners, but committed 46 unforced errors and converted only four of his 15 break points. The 27-year-old Swiss superstar was pushed in the last two sets and trailed 4-3 in third before winning the final three games in a match that lasted two hours, 17 minutes.

In the match after Federer, Novak Djokovic secured his place in the third round after defeating Robert Kendrick 7-6 (10/8) 6-4 6-4. The number three seed from Serbia took over two hours to see off the challenge of his American opponent, who committed 30 unforced errors.

The reigning Australian Open champion, Djokovic had received a scare in his first-round match on Wednesday when he injured his ankle in the third set. The 21-year-old overcame the setback and posted a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory over Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

In an earlier second-round match on Friday, number 11 seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile survived an injury scare to get past American Bobby Reynolds, 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 6-4.

Down 2-0 in the second set, Gonzalez suffered a sprained left ankle, but he recovered after getting his ankle re-taped during an injury time-out.Also reaching the round of 32 was number five seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, who ousted Argentina’s Agustin Calleri 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7/2).

Other winners included number 18 seed Nicolas Almagro of Argentina, number 23 Igor Andreev of Russia, number 26 Dmitry Tursunov, also of Russia and number 30 Marin Cilic of Croatia. Unseeded players to advance were Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

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