Roger Federer advances in latest bid for singles medal
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Fourth-time Olympian Roger Federer overcame a jittery patch to win his opening match at the London Games, beating Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
Federer seeks his first singles medal, although he and Swiss teammate Stanislas Wawrinka did win the gold in doubles in 2008.
Back on his favorite stage Saturday, the top-ranked Federer was a point from victory in the second set, then lost three of his next four service games. But Federer was in fine form at the finish on the same Centre Court where he won Wimbledon for a record-tying seventh time less than three weeks earlier.
Federer tried to downplay his drive to win a singles medal, but there's no question being ousted in the first round while ranked No. 1 would have been a bitter loss.
He was never on the verge of defeat of Falla but twice squandered leads. Federer seemed on his way to a routine win until Falla rallied serving at 3-5, love-40 in the second set.
"He hung tough, and I got nervous," Federer said. "It was a tough set to lose for me, particularly in the situation I was in. That's the beauty of the game. Sometimes you're one point away, and the next thing you know, you're 25 points away."
Federer also blew a 2-love lead in the final set, but had the crowd roaring with a succession of deft shots down the stretch. He's now 264 points from a gold medal.
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