- French Open, Day Two
Federer passes first French test
Roger Federer barely broke a sweat as he got his French Open title off to a winning start at Roland Garros.
The world No. 1 was far from his best but needed just an hour and 48 minutes to seal a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory over Peter Luczak.
The Australian No. 2 matched Federer in the opening stages as the defending champion was unable to make inroads into Luczak's serve, but he clinched a crucial break on the late on in the set to take the lead. Federer supreme on his serve, and piled pressure on the world No. 71, and his efforts were rewarded when he nicked set point at 5-4.
At 1-1 in the second, Luczak failed to convert a rare break point opportunity, and it proved to be a critical moment in the game. Luczak was left wondering what might have been as Federer went on to win the next four games to take the second set. Luczak panicked, hitting wild returns in a desperate attempt to salvage something from a match that was quickly running away from him.
But if Federer thought the final set would be merely ceremonial, he was wrong. The Australian put up a dogged fight, but in the end he was outclassed as Federer closed out the match.
It was a far from dominant display from the world No. 1, who will now meet Colombia's Alejandro Falla in round two. While not a clinical performance, the mark of a champion is the ability to grind out the results, and while it was a relatively comfortable victory, Federer need to find another gear in the later stages in Paris.
World No. 3 Novak Djokovic recovered from a shaky second set to beat Evgeny Koroloev 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-3. The Serb looked to be on course for a comfortable victory after racing to the first set 6-1, but suffered an inexplicable slump to lose the second set just as easily. The world No. 3 showed impressive strength of character to bounce back with a dominant display in the third to regain the lead and sealed his progress with a comfortable win in the fourth.
Home favourite < B>Gael Monfils survived a third-set fightback by Florian Mayer as he booked his place in the next round with a 6-3 7-5 6-7(5) 6-2 success. The French right-hander looked sharp after recovering from a recent injury and put on a show for the Philippe Chatrier Court crowd as he whipped several tasty forehands past his German opponent.
Fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement saw his dreams of a prolonged campaign wiped away by Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr, who ended the veteran's hopes with a 3-6 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 6-3 win.
14th seed Ivan Ljubicic took a while to get going against the tricky Yen-Hsun Lu but enventually found his to complete a 7-6(5) 7-5 6-3 success. Victor Hanescu will also be around for at least one more match after he beat Oscar Hernandez 6-1 1-6 6-4 6-3.
Fernando Gonzalez will be hoping for a repeat of last year's form after battling his way through to the semi-finals. The Chilean was in characteristically aggressive mood as he worked his way to a 6-2 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over Thiago Alves.
Brazil's Thomaz Belluci could be a dark horse in the draw. The No. 24 seed looked in fluent form as he downed Michael Llodra 6-4 6-2 6-2. Olivier Rochus overcame another Frenchman in the shape of Benoit Paire, while Paul-Henri Mathieu won the first set of his clash with Marcel Granollers but was forced to retire injured.
Granollers will have to be at his best to progress further though against second-round opponent Marcos Baghdatis. The No. 25 seed made light work of Jesse Witten 6-4 6-3 6-4 and will fancy his chances of going well at this year's tournament.
27th seed Feliciano Lopez also crashed out, going down 6-1 7-6(5) 6-2 to Julian Reister. Leonardo Mayer avoided a similar collapse, as he beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets.
Viktor Troicki pulled off an early surprise with a straight sets win over Tommy Robredo and will face Carsten Ball next after he knocked out Philipp Petzschner.
John Isner looked in good form as he moved past Andrey Golubev 6-4 6-3 6-2, while Stanislas Wawrinka triumphed 6-1 6-3 6-3 over Jan Hajek.
Tomas Berdych came through a tricky first-round opponent Jorge Aquilar 7-6(7) 6-3 6-1, and Lukas Lacko came out on top of an epic five-setter against Michael Yani 4-6 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 12-10. Japan's Kei Nishikori upset the odds to beat Santiago Giraldo and Kazakhstan's Yuri Schukin performed superbly to battle past Rajeev Ram.
Other first-day winners included Taylor Dent, Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Pablo Andujar, Steve Darcis, and Germany's Andreas Beck.
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