LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - World number one Roger Federer survived a scare in his opening Olympics singles match against Colombia’s Alejandro Falla before prevailing 6-3 5-7 6-3 on Wimbledon’s grass courts to book his place in the second round on Saturday.
The 17-time grand slam winner and top seed, seeking his first singles gold medal, was leading 6-3 5-3 and had three match points but then out of the blue crumbled, hitting shot after shot into the net which helped Falla fight back to force a decider.
Normal service appeared to be resumed on Centre Court at the start of the third set, as the Swiss broke his opponent in the opening game. But the world number 51 swiftly broke back to level at 2-2.
Federer, who won a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title earlier this month, broke again to go 4-3 up, then held serve to force Falla to serve to stay in the match for a second time.
Federer seized his opportunity though and secured victory when Falla hit a shot wide.
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Justin Palmer