Tennis - French Open

Men: Record win for Federer

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic gave themselves more work than anticipated in moving into the third round of the French Open on Wednesday.

 
Men: Record win for Fed - Tennis - French OpenAFP
 

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic gave themselves more work than anticipated in moving into the third round of the French Open on Wednesday.

Former champion Federer set a record with his 234th Grand-Slam match win but only after wasting two matchpoints in a third-set tiebreak and having to play a fourth set to beat Romanian Adrian Ungur.

The third-seeded Federer eventually won 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-3 on a sunny Philippe Chatrier court to pass Jimmy Connors's professional-era record, having equalled it in the first round here.

"Instead of being aggressive I let him show me what he could do," Federer said of the lost matchpoints. "He played two beautiful shots and he played very well."

World number one Djokovic, aiming to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four grand-slam titles at the same time, rattled off the first seven games before faltering against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic.

"I stopped," the Serbian told a news conference, after the match turned into a fierce battle which he finally won 6-0 6-4 6-4. "I gave him the opportunity to come back into the match after a perfect first seven games."

The fans sitting in the sunshine on Suzanne Lenglen court threw themselves behind underdog Kavcic and the Slovenian played on their sympathy, urging them on when they cheered his first game win at the start of the second set.

Their noisy enthusiasm reached a high point after he saved a breakpoint to hold for 3-3 in the third set and then went 0-30 up in the next game, and the umpire sternly warned the crowd to keep quiet during play.

In the third round, Djokovic will play French qualifier Nicolas Devilder while Federer will meet Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.

Argentine men's ninth seed Juan Martin del Potro also reached the third round with a 6-7 7-6 6-4 victory over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin and will now play Croatian Marin Cilic.

"It's going to be tough," Del Potro told a news conference.

"We know one another well, very well. The matches we play are always very difficult matches. The way he plays tennis is similar to my way of playing tennis."

The French fans were delighted to see Gilles Simon win through 6-4 6-1 6-7 1-6 6-0 after a tough match with American wildcard Brian Baker.

Simon, the 11th seed, raced through the final set but needed three matchpoints to finish off the victory in just under three hours.

Rain then came to Paris after three days of glorious sunshine, and play ended early with fifth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga level at 6-2 4-6 1-1 with German Cedric Marcel Stebe on Suzanne Lenglen court.

 

Reuters
 
 
 
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