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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Federer equals record, Azarenka survives

PHOTOS: Federer equals record, Azarenka survives

Last updated on: May 29, 2012 10:43 IST

Federer equals another record

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Roger Federer added yet another record to his long list of achievements when he netted his 233rd Grand Slam victory with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win against German Tobias Kamke in the first round of the French Open on Monday.

The third-seeded Swiss matched Jimmy Connors's professional era (since 1968) mark despite hitting some wayward shots against the world number 78 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

"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 told a news conference.

"And it's been around for -- Jimmy is obviously one of the greats of all time, and was around for 20 years."

Federer, looking to secure a record 17th grand slam title at Roland Garros, cantered through the first set and broke decisively in the 11th game of the second, wrapping it up with a forehand winner in less than two hours.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Getty Images

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Djokovic keeps cool head as pressure mounts

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Novak Djokovic showed great composure on and off court as he began his bid to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four Grand Slams simultaneously with a 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Italian Potito Starace.

The Serbian was dragged into a first-set tiebreak, which he won 7-3, before he gradually outpaced the world number 97 with a string of thundering winners.

Instead of trying to deflect all the pressure and attention that has been building up towards his title bid, Djokovic chose to embrace a sentiment voiced by tennis great Billie Jean King.

"Pressure is always present, and the way I look at it, it is a privilege and it's a challenge," Djokovic told a news conference.

"So you need to try to understand and learn how to deal with it, and if you feel pressure, that means that you're doing something that is right.

"So I'm happy -- I'm happy to be where I am at this moment."


Image: Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Getty Images

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Azarenka survives by winning ugly

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Victoria Azarenka narrowly escaped becoming the first women's top seed to lose in the first round of the French Open when she recovered from losing the opening set to beat Italian Alberta Brianti 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Azarenka, 10 years younger and 104 ranking places higher than her opponent, was in patchy form, giving away breaks with double faults and errors and screaming in anguish at her own mistakes.

After losing the first-set tiebreak 6-8, the Belarussian world number one found herself five points from defeat as she was 0-4 and break point down in the second set.

However, just when it seemed that Brianti was on the verge of winning her first match at Roland Garros in five appearances, Azarenka put the Italian under pressure in a long fifth game.

The Australian Open champion clawed her way back, then broke to love in the eighth game of the third set to take victory in two hours 16 minutes.


Image: Victoria Azarenka
Photographs: Getty Images

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Li starts French Open defence with easy win

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Li Na began the defence of her French Open title with an easy win, defeating Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes.

China's Li, who became the first player from an Asian nation to take a Grand Slam singles title when she won at Roland Garros last year, was never challenged by the 43rd-ranked Cirstea.

In front of stands that were barely half-full on Philippe Chatrier Court, Li, who played with her right knee strapped up, allowed the Romanian few chances and few points.

Li said she was still upset about losing to Russian Maria Sharapova in a dramatic and rain-interrupted Italian Open final eight days ago.

"After that final I told everyone: 'Don't talk to me about tennis for three days'," the world number seven told a news conference.


Image: Li Na
Photographs: Getty Images

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Radwanska makes short work of Jovanovski

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Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska made short work of her first opponent at the French Open, flattening Serbian Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 6-0 in 49 minutes.

Radwanska set up a second-round meeting with American former world number one Venus Williams, who is finding her feet in tennis again after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

Jovanovski tried to fight back at the end of the first set on Court One, saving three set points on her own serve before putting a backhand into the net.

The second set was even more one-sided, with Pole Radwanska allowing her rival a single point in the first three games. Jovanovski produced another backhand error on matchpoint, and her ordeal was over.


Image: Agnieszka Radwanska
Photographs: Getty Images

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Clement advacnes after Bogomolov throws in towel

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Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr, suffering with cramp and grimacing in pain, retired from his first round match against Frenchman Arnaud Clement when match point down.

Bogomolov Jr was about to serve while trailing 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 4-5, advantage Clement in the deciding set when he limped to the net to shake his opponent's hand after four hours and 18 minutes.

He was booed by the Court One crowd before a sympathetic Clement, 34, asked them to stop.

"I could not move my legs. You don't get a medical timeout for cramps," a dejected Bogomolov told reporters.

"My whole leg was straight. I couldn't bend it. I couldn't walk. I didn't want to risk a potential ligament damage or something. And you can't get a trainer for that."


Image: Arnaud Clement
Photographs: Getty Images

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