Posted: Monday July 2, 2012 11:37 AM

Federer beats Malisse to reach Wimbledon quarters

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WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Roger Federer had to stave off a comeback instead of making one Monday, holding off Xavier Malisse in four sets to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Federer struggled with a back problem in the first set and left Centre Court for a medical timeout that lasted more than eight minutes while leading 4-3. But he returned to secure a 7-6 (1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory over the Belgian. Federer said he thought he was in trouble at first but that the back started feeling better as the match went on.

Still, he was down 2-0 in the fourth set as Malisse threatened to force a fifth, but Federer went on to win the next five games.

In the third round, the six-time champion rallied from two sets down to beat Julien Benneteau.
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