French Open Day 1: Federer and Williams sisters advance
Originally published on 25/05/14
In his first Slam as a father of four, the Swiss was barely tested as he breezed past Slovakian Lacko 6-2 6-4 6-2. He will next face Diego Sebastian Schwartzman after he saw off fellow qualifier Gastao Elias 6-4 6-2 7-5.
"I think today with my experience I'm more laid back going into a tournament, going into a first round of a Grand Slam," said the 32-year-old. "I don't get too worked up about it, because I know it's a long match maybe potentially ahead of me and it's not a sprint to the finish line, it's more of a marathon."
Defending champion Serena Williams began her pursuit of a third French Open crown with a 6-2 6-1 win over France’s Alize Lim. Serena could face sister Venus in the third round after she beat Swiss youngster Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-1. Should the sisters meet it would be their earliest ever meeting outside of the end-of-season WTA Tour Championships.
Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska was the first player through to the second round after winning the last nine games in a row to beat Zhang Shuai 6-3 6-0. The first seven games of the match all went against serve but the Pole eventually held for a 5-3 advantage and sealed a comfortable win.
“I don't know if there is really any explanation why there was seven breaks in a row, but I guess it happens sometimes,” said Radwanska. “It was a slow court and very wet but it is the same for everyone. I'm just very happy that I won this match in two sets and pretty quickly.”
Radwanska has never made it past the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and added: “Clay is not really my favourite surface but I'm trying. Last year I reached my first quarter-final, so hopefully this year I can do even better.”
Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych are also through to the second round after straight-sets wins. No.6 seed Berdych beat Canadian Peter Polansky 6-3 6-4 6-4 while No.8 seed Raonic powered down 27 aces to see off Australian youngster Nicolas Kyrgios 6-3 7-6(1) 6-3. Czech Berdych showed off a new flowery attire during his match and said: “I think it's very popular, like through all the fashion brands. You can find everything with the flowers for the summer, so I was just really convinced in the first second and I said, 'Yes, of course.'”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame his French compatriot Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6(4) 7-5 6-2 while Radek Stepanek and Mikhail Youzhny both came from two sets down to progress. No.15 seed Youzhny beat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-0 while Stepanek made it through with a 6-7(8) 3-6 6-4 6-3 6-2 win over Argentine Facundo Arguello. The experienced pair will now meet in the second round.
Another player who came from behind to progress was women’s No.31 seed Daniela Hantuchova as she beat Jovana Jaksic 2-6 6-2 6-4. Spanish 14th seed Carla Suarez Navarro advanced with a 7-5 7-5 win over Yuliya Beygelzimer.
Defending men's champion Rafael Nadal will get his campaign underway on Court Suzanne Lenglen against Robby Ginepri on Monday.