ROGER Federer survived a scare as the Wimbledon champion kicked off his bid for Olympic gold with a hard-fought 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Colombia's Alejandro Falla yesterday.
Federer is back at Wimbledon less than a month after defeating Andy Murray in the final to win a record-equalling seventh title at the All England Club and his sights are firmly fixed on claiming his first singles gold medal.
But the World No 1, who won gold in the doubles with Stanislas Wawrinka in Beijing four years ago, will need to improve on this inconsistent display to fulfill his dream.
Falla, ranked 51st in the world, had Federer on the ropes for a while at the end of the second set and the start of the third before the Swiss great finally found enough momentum to scrape through in one hour and 47 minutes on Centre Court.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion will face France's Julien Benneteau, who took a two-set lead against Federer before losing in the Wimbledon third round this year, for a place in the last 16. AFP