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Federer bounces back in doubles

August 16, 2008 09:16 IST

Roger Federer bounced back from his dismal singles defeat to sweep into the finals of the Olympic doubles on Friday with a stunning victory over the top-seeded Bryan brothers from the United States.

Federer, serving superbly and constantly attacking at the net, combined with fellow Swiss Stanislaw Wawrinka for a 7-6, 6-4 victory that could give him the gold that has eluded him in a glittering career.

Playing on a sun-kissed court after their match had to be postponed on Thursday due to torrential rain, Federer and Wawrinka first scored an impressive 6-2, 6-4 win over India's Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes.

Then it was on to much tougher opposition -- two of the world's top doubles specialists.

The Americans lost the tie-break and then Mike Bryan's service was broken in the seventh game of the second set.

Wawrinka collapsed on the court in relief afterwards and an ebullient Federer was quick to give him a victory hug.

Federer was fulsome in praise of his partner, telling reporters: "I always believed in my chances, especially with a fellow top 10 player."

With the Olympics only coming around every four years, Federer said he puts "a lot of pressure" on himself.

"This is the biggest sporting event in the world and you feel special to be in something so important," he said.

Federer, who loses his world number one ranking next week and was sadly out of form in the Olympic singles against American James Blake on Thursday, revelled in the doubles, firing off winners and duelling fast and furiously in the rallies.

In the final, the Swiss will meet Sweden's Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson who had to play the longest three-set men's match since tennis returned to the Olympics in 1988.

In a superb marathon full of thrilling rallies, they defeated Frenchmen Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra 7-6, 4-6, 19-17 after four hours and 45 minutes of engrossing tennis.

The French pair salvaged one match point at 13-14 in the deciding set and it was Clement's serve that finally crumbled in the 36th and final game.

Johansson said: "It was even tougher mentally than it was physically. Simon and I could have gone on for a couple more hours."

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