Struggle for injured Federer

Salisbury Journal: Roger Federer (centre) took a medical time-out during the opening set Roger Federer (centre) took a medical time-out during the opening set

Roger Federer needed treatment for an injury as he struggled to take the first set against Xavier Malisse on Centre Court.

Play was suspended in the fourth-round Wimbledon clash due to rain after Federer took the tie-break 7-1 at a stroll, but it was far from comfortable for the Swiss until then.

The six-time champion needed to go off court for treatment on what looked like a back injury and returned to soon lose his serve, before repairing the damage.

On a cold and very blustery day at Wimbledon, Federer looked determined to get back to the warmth of the locker room, clinching his first service game to love with less than a minute on the clock.

The 30-year-old then suddenly started to struggle. He handed his Belgian opponent two break points but Malisse wasted the first by ploughing a forehand into the net and he then snatched at a return that flew well wide.

The problems did not stop there for Federer as he offered Malisse another chance to break serve in the fifth game, but rescued the situation with an ace.

Federer then took a medical time-out to receive three minutes' treatment on the injury, and he moved gingerly upon his return to Centre Court.

Malisse looked to be on the verge of taking the set when he broke Federer to move 6-5 ahead but the Swiss struck back immediately by returning a bullet forehand just over the net with a volley, forcing the tie-break.

Luckily for Federer, Malisse's game then went, the 31-year-old making three unforced errors to hand the third seed the set as the rain came.

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