Federer survives another wobble
Roger Federer again lived dangerously against an unfancied opponent before remaining on course to defend his Wimbledon title.
The crown wobbled on the great man's head once more as the six-times champion was reduced for the second time in three days to the status of mere mortality by an unheralded player.
Ilija Bozoljac, a qualifier from Serbia ranked 152nd in the world, has given himself the nickname of Bozo but he was in no mood for frivolity as he pushed the Swiss ace all the way in an absorbing, serve-dominated second-round match on Court One.
Federer, relegated from Centre Court for the first time for three years, triumphed 6-3 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 7-6 (7/5) and his serve was not broken throughout but it was his plucky opponent who earned most of the plaudits.
The big-serving Bozoljac hit 31 aces and 102 winners, compared to 69 by the champion, but also produced 36 double faults, almost three times as many as the more consistent Federer.
It was a case of deja vu for the world number two, who came back from two sets down for the first time at Wimbledon to avoid a humiliating exit at the hands of little-known Colombian Alejandro Falla on Monday.
“They both played fantastic,” said Federer, who next plays a more familiar opponent, Frenchman Arnaud Clement, for a place in the fourth round.
“It shows how deep the men's game is at the moment. It's good for me that I came through.
“I'm very happy to go through. It could have gone to three or it could have gone to five.”
Third seed Novak Djokovic overcame the brutal serve of Taylor Dent to ensure a welcome early conclusion to the second match of his Wimbledon campaign striding clear to secure a 7-6 6-1 6-4 triumph.
Andy Roddick recovered from losing the first set in convincing fashion to triumph 4-6 6-4 6-1 7-6 (7-2) on Centre Court, the setting for his epic defeat by Roger Federer in last year's final.