Federer struggles against "lucky loser"

Federer will now face Albert Costa in the second round Keystone Archive

Swiss number one Roger Federer had a tough time in reaching the second round of the ATP tennis tournament in Vienna, needing three sets to beat "lucky loser" Nicolas Massu (ATP 78) in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

This content was published on October 10, 2001 - 09:12

After failing to make it through the qualifying rounds in Vienna, Massu was given a last-minute berth in the main draw following the withdrawal through injury of Federer's original opponent Jan-Michael Gambill.

But if the rising Swiss star thought he'd find the going any easier against the 22-year-old Chilean, he would have soon known better.

Massu won the opening set 6-4 before taking the young player from Basel into a second set tie-break.

Two match points

Federer then had to defend two match points before finally turning the match around. The world number 12 was eventually to take the second set tie-break 10-8 before wrapping up a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory.

Federer's next opponent will be Spanish world number 33 Albert Costa in what will be the two players' first ever meeting on the tour.

The Swiss number one will be looking for plenty of match practice in Vienna this week ahead of the penultimate Masters Series tournament which gets underway in Stuttgart at the weekend.

Federer will have to do well both in Stuttgart and at the final Masters Series event in Paris, if he is to have any chance of qualifying for the season-ending Masters Cup in Sydney.

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