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Rediff.com  » Sports » French Open: Federer cranks up Paris temperature

French Open: Federer cranks up Paris temperature

Last updated on: May 24, 2010 23:44 IST

Federer too good for Luczak

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Roger Federer did little to dampen the soaring temperatures at the French Open with a red-hot display of shotmaking that brought the year's second Grand Slam bursting into life on Monday.

After Sunday's low-key start, Federer showed he was not going to let go of the title he battled so hard for 12 months ago without a fight as he destroyed Australian challenger Peter Luczak 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in a match which, at times resembled an exhibition on a sultry Court Philippe Chatrier.

While the organisers have made the tennis world wait for the bow of Rafa Nadal and Justine Henin until Tuesday, Federer asserted his claim to top billing with a charge interrupted only when a spectator was overcome by the Parisian heat.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Reuters
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'I played a great match'

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Federer treated the crowd to every shot in his arsenal -- stunning backhand crosscourts, punishing angles and one mocking drop shot to snuff out one of the match's longer rallies, which had the crowd on its feet and the Swiss pointing to the cloudless sky in enjoyment.

"I played a great match, I'm really happy," Federer said in a courtside interview.

"It was kind of a (drop shot) festival, it's good when it works but when it doesn't, you look a bit ridiculous," he added.


Image: Roger Federer

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Djokovic through despite brief wobble

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Third seed Novak Djokovic overcame a mid-match glitch to launch his French Open campaign with victory over Kazakhstan's Evgeny Korolev on Monday.

The Serbian third seed, twice a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, won 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 as spectators sizzled in 30 degrees of heat on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Djokovic steamed through the first set in quick time but went to sleep in the second as his 73rd-ranked opponent briefly threatened the tournament's first major shock.

However, Djokovic quickly recovered his poise and breezed through the next two sets without expending too much more of the energy he will need if he is to challenge for the title.


Image: Novak Djokovic

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Serena stutters into second round

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World number one Serena Williams recovered from a stuttering start to beat Swiss Stefanie Voegele 7-6, 6-2 and book her place in the second round of the French Open Monday.

The 2002 Paris champion stooped and clenched her fist as she saw off three break points en route to a 7-2 win in the first set tiebreak after struggling to break her opponent's serve.

World number 76 Voegele, backed by the centre court crowd, lost her composure in the second set as Serena ended the contest with a routine volley after an hour and 21 minutes.

She will next face German Julia Georges.


Image: Serena Williams

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Wozniacki shrugs off injury

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Danish third seed Caroline Wozniacki showed no signs of her recent injury troubles with a 6-0, 6-3 demolition of Russia's Alla Kudryavsteva in the French Open first round on Monday.

The U.S Open runner-up burst out of the blocks and wrapped up the first set in just 25 minutes under the blazing sun on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Kudryavtseva, the world number 78, stopped the rot by winning the eighth game and had the audacity to break for a 2-1 lead before Wozniacki, 19, restored order, making the decisive break in game eight for a 5-3 lead.

She sealed the win after an hour and nine minutes when the Russian netted a backhand service return. She now plays Germany's Kristina Barrois or Italy's Tathiana Garbin for a place in the third round.


Image: Caroline Wozniacki

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Li edges past French teenager Mladenovic

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China's Li Na used her experience to fend off teenage French wildcard Kristina Mladenovic and reach the second round of the French Open on Monday, winning 7-5 6-3 on a baking hot Suzanne Lenglen court.

The 28-year-old Li, who became the first Chinese player to attain a top 10 singles rankings after reaching the Australian Open semi-finals in January, dropped serve twice in the opening set but replied with three breaks of her own.

Mladenovic, rewarded with a main draw spot after winning the girls singles title last year, was bothered by a back strain in the second set but still produced a few scorching winners to keep the home fans interested and Li on her toes.

Li, the 11th seed, went 0-40 down when serving for the match but responded with five straight points to move through.


Image: Li Na

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Murray douses Gasquet fire to win five-set thriller

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Andy Murray poured cold water over Richard Gasquet's French Open return on Monday, recovering from a two-set grilling to storm into the second round at Roland Garros as the day's headline act lived up to the hype.

Just as he did at Wimbledon two years ago when he triumphed from two sets down, fourth seed Murray weathered Gasquet's storm and surged back to win 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 in just over four hours in the cauldron of Suzanne Lenglen Court.

Gasquet missed his home slam in 2008 through injury and last year because of a doping ban that was later rescinded but the former world number seven arrived here with high hopes after winning the warm-up event in Nice last week.

The 23-year-old was at his majestic best as he built a two-set lead with some stupendous shot-making but Murray, a quarter-finalist here last year, hung in and the match quickly turned in his favour as a tiring Gasquet ran out of steam.


Image: Andy Murray

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