Federer beats Benneteau to reach French quarters
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
By STEVEN WINE
PARIS — Despite tricky traction on a drizzly afternoon, Roger Federer avoided any serious missteps in the fourth round of the French Open.
The top-ranked Federer reached the quarterfinals for the 16th Grand Slam event in a row by beating Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 today.
Federer was broken serving for each of the first two sets but recovered to close them out. Steady rain prompted a 90-minute interruption before the third set.
"It was unfortunate I couldn't serve it out the way I wanted to in the first and second set, but I felt OK out there," Federer said. "It was tough conditions with the rain delay."
His next opponent will be No. 24-seeded Fernando Gonzalez, who ended Robby Ginepri's surprising run at Roland Garros, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-1. Ginepri was the last American in either singles draw.
Federer beat Gonzalez in the 2007 Australian Open final for one of his 12 Grand Slam titles, two shy of Pete Sampras' record. The French Open is the only major Federer has yet to win.
"I hope it's going to go my way this time," Federer said. "All in all, I'm very happy with the way I'm playing."
Gonzalez is 16-0 this year on clay, although he withdrew before the third round in Rome because of a hamstring injury.
"Obviously I'm the favorite in this section, so I hope I can make it through to the final," Federer said. "But I'm not there yet, so I have to be very careful with Gonzalez. ... He was born on clay, more or less."