Roger Federer’s bid for a record 17th major tennis title began with another landmark on Monday,when he won his 233rd match at a Grand Slam event,equalling the achievement of Jimmy Connors.
Federer beat German Tobias Kamke 6-2 7-5 6-3 in the first round of the French Open and can surpass American Connors’s professional-era record by continuing his progress here. Women’s world number one Victoria Azarenka was lucky to advance after being five points away from defeat against Italian Alberta Brianti in their first-round match,scraping through 6-7 6-4 6-2. Mens world number one Novak Djovokic,seeking a sweep of the Grand Slams,beat Potito Starace of Italy 7-6 (3) 6-3 6-1,while defending champion Rafael Nadal will join the fray on Tuesday.
Federer,the 2009 champion at Roland Garros and runner-up four times to Nadal,hit some wayward shots against the 78th-ranked Kamke but was happy to get through in straight sets. They are never easy,those first rounds, the Swiss world number three said. I missed a few too many shots but I was in the lead so I could afford to do those.
Matter of longevity
Asked about matching Connors’s record,Federer said he had not been aware of it before the match. That (record) is a big one,because (it means) longevity. I have been so successful for such a long time and to already tie that record,(at) 30 years old is pretty incredible,so I’m very happy.
Federer will now meet Romania’s Adrian Ungur who beat Argentine David Nalbandian 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5. Australian Lleyton Hewitt,who was given a wild card also lost to Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic 7-6(2) 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3.
Australian Open champion Azarenka,who would have been the first top-seeded woman to lose in the opening round,hit 60 unforced errors in her two hours 16 minutes. Defending champion Li Na raced through her opening match,thrashing Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes.
Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Dudi Sela (Isr) 6-3 6-4 6-1,Bernard Tomic (Aus) bt Andreas Haider-Maurer (Aut) 7-6(5) 6-3 6-3,John Isner (USA) beat Rogerio Dutra Silva (Bra) 6-3 6-4 6-4,Kevin Anderson (SA) bt Rui Machado (Prt) 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 4-6 6-1 11-9,Andreas Seppi (Italy) beat Nikolay Davydenko (Russia) 6-3 7-6(5) 7-5,Florent Serra (Fra) bt Feliciano Lopez (Esp) 5-0 retd