2004 Houston Tennis Masters

Roger Federer   v    Carlos Moya

6-3, 3-6, 6-3

   

World number one Roger Federer struggled past Spain's Carlos Moya for his 21st victory in a row over a top-10 foe.

Defending champion Federer, already assured a Saturday semi-final spot, rescued eight of nine break points, including four in the final set, for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, round-robin triumph here Thursday to dim Moya's hopes of advancing.

"I put a lot of pressure on him with my serve and forehand," Moya said. "He makes you play under pressure more than any other guy. You expect to take more chances. He missed a few more than he usually does but he's still number one."

Federer answered the challenge, saving two break points in the first game of the third set, breaking Moya in the second to seize the lead and denying Moya on two more break chances in the fifth game.

"I'm disappointed," Moya said. "I had my chances. I lost 8-of-9 break points. When you do that against Federer you lose. If I had won one of those points, it could have been different."

Federer held twice more to win in one hour and 46 minutes, stretching a streak of top-10 victims that began with a Cup title run last year.

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