Following the semi-final losses at the Australian Open and Roland Garros in 2005, Roger Federer was eager to bounce back at Wimbledon and chase the third straight crown at the All England Club. The Swiss defended the title in Halle a couple of weeks earlier and was off to a great start in London, beating Paul-Henri Mathieu and Ivo Minar in straight sets to find himself in the third round.
Facing only four break points against the Frenchman and Czech, Roger suffered one break in the opening two rounds to gather momentum ahead of the more challenging clash with the German Nicolas Kiefer.
After two hours and 35 minutes, Federer prevailed 6-2, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the second week and set the encounter against a former world no.
1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.
Kiefer converted two out of four break chances, digging deep in sets two and four and standing two points away from forcing a decider. Nonetheless, Roger remained calm to overcome the deficit in set number four and move through without spending more time on the court.
Storming over his opponent in the opener, Federer had to work harder in set number two, forging a 4-1 lead in the tie break before Kiefer claimed six of the last seven points to level the score and remain in touch. "As I expected, it was a tough match.
We have played several times and he beat me once in Halle on grass. We know each other well and we took advantage of that fact. I should have won in straight sets but I'm happy to go through anyway. As long as I keep winning, it doesn't matter if I'm going to spend one hour or five on the court.
Nicolas tested me for sure today and I had to survive some tough moments. Tie breaks are always tight and I should have never lost that one. He stayed in touch and I had to work hard in the fourth set, playing better to win the crucial points, like in the second set.
I'm happy to be through to the second week because that was the goal. Now, there are only four matches left and I can take them one by one. It's a special year, trying to win the third straight Wimbledon. The opponents are not getting more comfortable and I will try to reach the final at least.
The way I have been playing this year, my only goal is to win the title. I would be very disappointed if I lose before the final, like at the Australian Open and Roland Garros." Roger Federer had the upper hand in the third set and he needed all the skills to seal the deal in the fourth, trailing 5-3 before rattling off four straight games to move into the last 16.