Federer off to flying start in Paris

Switzerland's Roger Federer in action against Peter Luczak of Australia. The defending champion progressed to the second round with a comfortable victory.

Switzerland's Roger Federer in action against Peter Luczak of Australia. The defending champion progressed to the second round with a comfortable victory.  

Roger Federer dusted Australian Peter Luczak 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 on Monday in a dominating start to his title defence at the French Open as the Swiss bids for a first clay title this season.

For only the second time in nine years, Federer enters Roland Garros without having won a clay court tournament. He came close this month in Madrid, where he lost that final to Rafael Nadal, dominator on the dirt in 2010.

Federer’s next opponent is Colombian Alejandro Falla.

“It’s super to return her after a year away from the 2009 final,” said the 16-time Grand Slam champion. “I feel pressure, but that is normal. I played a super match, I’m very content.

“The first set was tough, it was hot, the ball flew and was a bit tough to control. He served well but so did I. Once I got the first set, I was calm straight through to the end.” The durable Swiss is competing in his 42nd straight Grand Slam tournament, good enough for fifth in the all-time list of longest uninterrupted runs at the majors.

If he keeps up his pace, the 28-year-old will equal Pete Sampras’s record of 284 weeks at number one when the rankings are released the day after the June 6 Paris final.

Wawrinka enters second round

Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka also earned an impeccable start to his fortnight, hammering Czech Jan Hajek 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

“I’m very happy with the way the match went, it was the ideal way to begin,” said Wawrinka. “I felt well right from the beginning.

Winning so easily against Hajek, who’s a good player, is very rewarding. It’s the perfect beginning.” Daniel Gimeno-Traver spoilt Dmitry Tursunov’s first match since the U.S. Open nine months ago as the Russian returned after various injuries to sustain a 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 thrashing.

American John Isner kept up his improvement on the alien surface with a defeat of Kazhak Andrey Golubev, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, while compatriot Taylor Dent beat veteran Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

In the women’s draw, third seed Caroline Wozniacki played through a nagging ankle problem to advance into the second round over Russian Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-0, 6-3.

The Dane said that she is forced to carry on with the problem due to tough WTA rules on top players missing events.

“It’s not just a fine, it’s also commitment tournaments, zero pointers,” she said.

“Maybe it would have been better if I could have taken a few weeks off, but those are the rules, and I did what I had to do.” China’s 11th seed Li Na started with a win over Kristina Mladenovic of France, 7-5, 6-3. Lucie Safarova spoiled yet another injury return for Australian Jelena Dokic, playing only her fifth Tour-level event of the season, 6-2, 6-2.

But U.S. Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin continued to disappoint, going down to Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues 7-5, 6-2.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:50:57 PM |

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