Roland Garros

Federer flies past Istomin to reach French Open second round

Roger Federer won the French Open in 2009.
Roger Federer won the French Open in 2009. © Pierre Rene-Worms/RFI

Former champion Roger Federer advanced to the second round of the French Open on Monday following a comfortable straight sets win over Denis Istomin.

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It was often exhibition stuff for Federer against the 34-year-old from Uzbekhistan.

The veteran Swiss, who won the title in 2009, broke his opponent in the opening game of the match and consolidated the advantage to lead 2-0. 

He eventually wrapped up the set 6-2 in 28 minutes. An early break in the second put the 39-year-old in control and he finished it off with his eighth ace of the encounter to take it 6-4.

Breeze

A couple of points at the net brought up three break points for Federer but Istomin saved the first with a service winner and the second with a confident overhead smash. But Federer slapped a forehand cross court winner to break and take a 3-2 lead. Within minutes it was 4-2.

A 13th forehand winner brought up a point for a 5-2 lead but a dreadful backhand into the net eliminated that opportunity. A second chance came and again another backhand slumped into the net.

Istomin eventually held to bring it back to 4-3.

But Federer won the next two games to wrap up the encounter after 93 minutes.

“It was a good performance,” said Federer. “I hope I can do it again against a different type of opponent.”

Elsewhere in the men's draw, second seed Daniil Medvedev recorded his first victory at the French Open. The 25-year-old Russian had lost on each of his four previous visits. But he showed patience and no little verve to overcome the Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.

The 18th seed Jannik Sinner saved a match point in the fourth set against the Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert on his way to a five set victory. The 19-year-old Italian claimed the decider 6-4 to register his first win in five sets after defeats at the US and Australian Opens.

"Obviously when you are in another fifth set, you don't think how many you lost or how many you won," said Sinner. "You just want to win the one you're in. Today I just tried to somehow play my game. He gave me a little help because I think he was still thinking about the fourth set."

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