Federer focused on Olympic 'dream'

Roger Federer celebrates after beating France's Julien Benneteau on day three of the London 2012 Olympics.

Story highlights

  • World No. 1 Roger Federer through to the last 16 of the Olympic singles tournament
  • He and Swiss partner Stanislas Wawrinka win opening match of their doubles title defense
  • World No. 2 Novak Djokovic loses in his first-round doubles match alongside Viktor Troicki
  • The Serbian will play Andy Roddick in round two of the singles after the American wins

Roger Federer is hoping to fulfill a longtime dream by winning the only major tennis title that still eludes him -- Olympic singles gold.

The world No. 1 moved into the third round of the London 2012 competition by beating France's Julien Benneteau on Monday in a rematch of their Wimbledon clash last month.

Federer came from 2-0 down to win that match in five sets before going on to equal Pete Sampras' record of seven titles at the grass-court event, but this time had no such troubles as he cruised to a 6-2 6-2 victory at the same venue.

The 17-time grand slam champion, who won gold in the doubles four years ago, next faces world No. 34 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

Federer, whose best singles performance was fourth place at Sydney 2000, said he is inspired to emulate Swiss compatriot Marc Rosset's 1992 gold.

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"(It would be a) dream come true, I would say, because I definitely get inspired by the 1992 victory by Marc Rosset. That was huge news in Switzerland. I definitely felt like I was inspired by that on an Olympic level," he said.

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"So when I got the call in 2000 to be part of the Sydney Olympics 12 years ago, I got there, I stayed in the village. I was there for over two weeks. I had the best time following sports, being there with the athletes, playing so well. I almost overachieved in that tournament. Ever since it's been something very important in my life."

Federer and doubles partner Stanislas Wawrinka had a battle in the opening match of their title defense, coming from behind to beat Japan's Kei Nishikori and Go Soeda 6-7(5-7) 6-4 6-4 late in the evening.

The sixth seeds will next play Israel's Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich ahead of a potential quarterfinal against the top-ranked Bryan brothers of the U.S. -- who they beat in the Beijing semis.

Former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic crashed out of the doubles competition as he and Serbian partner Viktor Troicki lost 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 to Sweden's Johan Brunstrom and Robert Lindstedt.

However, their third-seeded compatriots Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic won their first-round match, beating Slovakia's Martin Klizan and Lukas Lacko 6-3 6-3.

An Arab springboard for success

Tipsarevic also progressed in the singles, coming from behind to beat Germany's Philipp Petzschner 3-6 6-3 6-4 as he set up a third-round clash with American 10th seed John Isner. Isner ended the hopes of Tunisia's Malek Jaziri, the only player from an Arab country in the men's draw.

Argentine eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro will play France's No. 12 Gilles Simon in the last 16, while Spanish 11th seed Nicolas Almagro takes on 75th ranked Steve Darcis of Belgium -- who upset former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych in the first round.

Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick set up a second-round clash with Djokovic, while Canada's Milos Raonic earned a meeting with French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis battled into round two with three-set wins, while Argentine ninth seed Juan Monaco, Croatian No. 13 Marin Cilic, French No. 16 Richard Gasquet, Russia's Nikolay Davydenko and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez also went through.

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