Federer rallies to beat Rochus, advances to second round

Updated: April 15, 2008, 1:43 PM ET
Associated Press

OEIRAS, Portugal -- Roger Federer rallied from a set down to defeat Olivier Rochus of Belgium 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday in the first round of the clay-court Estoril Open.

What's Wrong With Federer?

The once-seemingly invincible Roger Federer has been downright beatable in 2008. A look at his first four events this year compared to last year:

2008 2007
W-L 11-4 14-2
Titles 0 2
First-round exits 1 0

The top-ranked Swiss player had 17 aces, but also many unforced errors, against the 80th-ranked Belgian. It was Federer's first match since he started working with coach Jose Higueras, a clay-court specialist.

Federer is struggling through his worst start to a season since 2000 -- the last time he went four tournaments without a victory. Only two Grand Slam titles short of tying Pete Sampras' record of 14, Federer still needs to win the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam.

Second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko also made a shaky start against Jurgen Melzer but recovered to win 6-3, 6-1. Davydenko, coming off a victory at the Sony Ericsson Open, lost his first service game and trailed 2-0 before breaking his opponent's serve three times in the first set.

The Russian won the Estoril Open title in 2003 and lost in the final two years ago.

Tennis scores

Need the scores from any match played in this or any other tournament? Results

Third-seeded Ivo Karlovic withdrew because of an injury while trailing 6-4, 1-0 against Rui Machado, and eighth-seeded Michael Berrer defeated Gastao Elias 6-4, 7-5.

In the women's event, top-seeded Flavia Pennetta dropped the opening set against Yvonne Meusburger before recovering to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.

Second-seeded Maria Kirilenko also struggled before beating Stefanie Vogele, and fifth-seeded Tathiana Garbin knocked out Yuliya Beygelzimer.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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