French Open - Federer survives rain to progress

Reuters - Wed, 26 May 18:22:00 2010

Roger Federer kept his game together through several rain interruptions and a stirring first-set charge from Colombian Alejandro Falla before booking a comfortable third-round berth at the French Open.

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Falla had lost just three points on his serve when a hold at 6-5 would have given him the first set, but Federer broke back and stormed through the tie-break on his way to a 7-6(4) 6-2 6-4 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.

After a frustrating hour or so when two rain breaks ruined the momentum of the match, Federer upped his game and treated a crowd dominated by the excitable cheers of local schoolchildren to a feast of stroke-making as he came through in two hours.

He will now play qualifier Julian Reister for a place in the last 16, after the German overcame diminutive Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-2 6-2 7-6(5).

Sweden's Robin Soderling raced into the third round, destroying American Taylor Dent for the loss of just two games.

The 2009 runner-up needed just 71 minutes to post a 6-0 6-1 6-1 victory and set up a last-32 clash against 29th seed Albert Montanes, after the Spaniard brushed aside German qualifier Tobias Kamke 6-3 6-2 6-1.

So far in the tournament the fifth seed has conceded just seven games after his first round defeat of Laurent Recouderc.

Soderling, who stunned four-times champion Rafael Nadal last year and went on to lose to Roger Federer in the final, took the opening set in 17 minutes, dropping just five points.

Dent finally registered on the scoreboard when he held serve early in the second set but he had no answer to the baseline power of Soderling who powered on to victory.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also charged through with a 6-0 6-1 6-4 pummelling of fellow Frenchman Josselin Ouanna.

The eighth-seeded Tsonga raced to a 6-0 3-0 lead on court Suzanne Lenglen as his close friend Ouanna failed to score a single point on his second serve.

There was more of a contest in the third set but Ouanna, the world number 128, failed to cancel out an early break, Tsonga prevailing with an ace after 79 minutes.

Tsonga will face Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker, who defeated Spanish 32nd seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3 3-6 7-6(5) 7-5 for a place in the fourth round. De Bakker beat Tsonga in three sets 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the Barcelona quarter-finals last month.

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