Winning his first two outings at Roland Garros this week, Federer reached his 400th Grand Slam match when he appeared in court against Casper Ruud on Friday. No player has ever done that.
If he had avoided the French Open for Wimbledon – the grand slam he is most often associated with eight titles – the SW19 would have housed the feat.
And when he beat Suzanne Lenglen, 6-1 6-1 7-6 (10-8) against Ruud, up sharply, the 37-year-old also became the eldest of the men to qualify for the fourth round of Roland Garros since the Italian Nicola Pietrangeli almost 50 years ago in 1972.
"It's true that I played a lot of Grand Slam tournaments, and it's even better to do it at Roland Garros, because I have a lot of records, milestones of Wimbledon or the US Open. ", Federer told reporters. "But to do anything to Roland is very special, because I played a lot here – it was my first Grand Slam where I was in the main draw."
His friend and rival on the field in the last 15 years, Rafael Nadal, has subsequently dropped his first set of the tournament. Ten years after the shock of Robin Soderling against the king of clay, the eleventh world champion still seemed in top form in a 6-1 win 6-3 4-6 6-3 over a former finalist at the end of the season. # 39; year. championships, David Goffin.
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Federer's persistent strength in tennis comes down to the fact that when he took part in this first French Open in 1999, Christian de Ruud's father was in the draw.
Despite his lack of practice on clay in recent years, Federer has facilitated the task this week in Paris.
Ruud – who confessed to being a bigger fan of Nadal growing up and training at the Spanish Majorcan Academy – feels most at home on clay, hitting his strikes on the ground in full swing. boom.
The Swiss have totally unbalanced the Norwegian ranked 63rd in the world, thanks to its sparkling array of shots.
He served and volleyed, threw his short patented slice and defended superbly. The Grand Slam champion, 20 times superior, crushed the right shot in the fourth game of the second set, moments after using the rhythm of a Ruud player to deliver a laser like the return of the backhand.
Not to mention a breathtaking setback.
Federer had to work harder in the third set, recovering from 0-2 and then needing to save a 3-4 break chance. In the decisive game after missing two match points, he was forced to save a set point.
The relatively comfortable exit of Federer allowed to avoid much of what happened on a day when the sun finally appeared and temperatures rose.
Indeed, there were many dramas or in the case of Nadal, at least in the last two sets.
Goffin would probably still be in the top 10 without injuries, a quick baseliner who takes the ball in the climb and can shoot shots of nowhere.
Nadal dipped slightly into the third set – broken in the only game where he encountered chances of breaking – but answered predictably in the fourth. He clubbed an impressive 38 winners with 21 unforced errors.
The second-seeded Karolina Pliskova sided with the dangerous Petra Martic 6-3 6-3, becoming the last female candidate to win after Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens.
The versatile Martic has qualified for the third time at Roland Garros after winning his first title in Istanbul in April. This after his career almost ended in 2016 due to a back injury.
Things started to get away from the big maid Pliskova when she was broken from 40-0 to 3-3 the first time.
"I think she's played well," Pliskova said. "Of course, I could do better.
"I absolutely should not lose some services in the first set when I was in the games."
The twelfth seed, Anastasia Sevastova, bravely saved five points in three different matches against Elise Mertens 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 11-9 in three hours and 18 minutes in the match that immediately preceded Federer.
Sevastova – who initially left the game in 2013 due to injuries before coming back – pushed back one point of the match with a sublime shot. On another, her reverse at the end of the line barely caught her.
"I did not think losing," said Sevastova, semi-finalist last year at the US Open. "I thought I was winning, so I had to do something."
Lesia Tsurenko, 27th seeded, won the match with reigning champion Simona Halep, winning a 7-5 5-7 11-9 victory over Aleksandra Krunic after darkness interrupted the 6- Thursday in the third set.
Krunic had trained 4-1 in the third set, although later he could not serve the match four times or convert a match point.
Tsurenko was shocked, especially after what she said was the trauma of being 30 years old on Thursday.
"I'm starting to think that I'm 30 years old and that I do not have much time left to play on tour and in all those bad things," said Tsurenko, whose Ukrainian compatriot Elina Svitolina beat the winner 2016, Garbine Muguruza. "Were not really bad, but just a few not very good matches were probably in my head.
"And it was very difficult mentally to play."
If it was a crushing defeat for Krunic, the same could be said of the reverse of Lucas Pouille.
One of the home players hopes to end the drought that has raged for 35 years in France at Roland Garros: the 22nd seed fell to unpredictable Martin Klizan Thursday. He finished 2-1 in sets against the Slovak and 0-2, 0-40 in the service of the fourth.
The match was also suspended because of a bad light – the French Open lacks light – Puglins rallied to create a 5-3 advantage in the fifth set, to succumb 7- 6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 3-6 9-7.