Roger Federer was pushed to the limit and then got a bit lucky in his first-round match at Wimbledon as the Swiss legend defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-7, 4-6, 6-3 with the Frenchman retiring two points into the fifth set after a nasty fall.
After winning the opening set, Federer fell behind as Mannarino played some brilliant tennis to take the next two sets only to slip on the grass in the seventh game of the fourth set, which Federer took, leading to his eventual retirement.
Federer escapes after Mannarino injury
Mannarino failed to convert on three break points to open the match, but he sent a warning as to what was to come. The Frenchman then saved two break points of his own to level the set at 2-2 and overcame a pair of double faults in his next service game to stay on serve.
With Federer holding so easily, one break of serve would be enough and the 20-time major champion gave himself a look at 15-40. Mannarino saved the first, but Federer put away the second, and with it the set, with a backhand crosscourt.
The first chances of the second set fell to the world number 41 in the fifth game, but Federer saved both, punctuating the game with an ace out wide to make it 3-2. Both men held through and the set would be decided in a tiebreaker.
The Frenchman jumped out to a 4-1 lead thanks to errors by Federer and a lucky net cord and he clinched the set five points later to level the match at one set all.
Early breaks were traded in the third set before the world number 41 claimed the advantage for a 4-2 lead and the way he was serving, there wasn't much Federer could do. Indeed the Frenchman would go on to close out the set, a forehand volley winner giving him a two sets to one lead.
With a potentially massive upset brewing, Federer knew the importance of a good start to the fourth set and he got it, saving a break point to hold. He then broke Mannarino and was cruising through, leading 4-2 when the world number 41 called for the trainer.
After playing two more games, both won by Federer to claim the set and even the match at two sets apiece, the Frenchman only played two points in the fifth set before retiring, bringing to an end what was turning into a classic and possible huge upset.