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But just as he did in Tuesday's match against Novak Djokovic, having levelled the match Federer promptly dropped serve.
That proved a crucial hold as Robson dropped serve again in the next game, saving two break points but not a third.
I could not separate us, apart from when I was 2-1 up and a break up, and I dropped serve.
The key moment of the match came at the start of the third set when, having finished the second with a run of four straight games and looking well on top Watson dropped serve.
Djokovic dropped serve in game seven to lose the first set 6-4, and was under pressure at 15-30 in the fifth game of the second but a stunning shot seemed to turn the match.
The Swede (pictured left), last year's runner-up, could find no way through Nadal's defences and once he dropped serve in the fifth game of the first set the outcome seemed inevitable.
at himself as he returned to his chair, but Gasquet duly dropped serve for a third time in a row to hand him the set.
He dropped serve at the outset of the second set of their third-round contest, and Queen's Club runner-up Karlovic seized his chance to pull clear, winning 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.
Henman hit back to level but then dropped serve to allow the Spaniard to take the first set 6-4.
One flicked backhand down the line by Goffin to hold serve in the next game had the man from Liege smiling, but his resistance snapped at 5-5 when he dropped serve from 40-0 up.
However, a dropped serve at the start of the decider had her back on the rack.
Robson dropped serve for a third time at the start of the second set but again responded straight away, nailing a cross-court backhand.