Roger Federer rallies past Benneteau at Wimbledon

Roger Federer overcame a two-set deficit Friday at Wimbledon to avoid his earliest Grand Slam exit since 2004.

The six-time champion found himself two points from defeat on six occasions but survived a tense fourth-set tiebreaker and beat Julien Benneteau in the third round, 4-6, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-1.

Federer also erased a two-set deficit to beat Juan Martin del Potro in this month's quarterfinals of the French Open. He has mounted eight comebacks from down 0-2 in his career.

Federer avoided the fate that befell rival Rafael Nadal 24 hours earlier on the same Centre Court. Nadal, a two-time champion, made his quickest exit from a major since 2005 when No. 100-ranked Lukas Rosol beat him in five sets Thursday.