French Open - Men: Federer equals Slam record

Mon, 28 May 13:54:00 2012

Roger Federer netted a record-equalling 233rd Grand Slam victory when he beat German Tobias Kamke 6-2 7-5 6-3 in the first round of the French Open.

Roger Federer of Switzerland waves after winning his match against Tobias Kamke of Germany during the French Open - 0

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.

Federer, looking to secure a record-breaking 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.

"They are never easy, those first rounds," the Swiss world number three said. "I missed a few too many shots but I was in the lead so I could afford to do those."

Asked about matching Connors's record, Federer said he had not been aware of it before the match.

"But I'm very happy, because Jimmy Connors was a huge champion, still is, so it's a great pleasure," he added.

"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."

Next up for the former world number one is Adrian Ungur of Romania, after the world number 92 beat Argentina's David Nalbandian 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5.

It was, however, a far from perfect performance for Federer, who hit 47 unforced errors and wobbled on his serve.

"They're never easy, those first rounds. Last thing you want is to go down a set or getting in a tough situation, but I was able to stay ahead in the first set, had bits of ups and downs on my serve," Federer explained.

"But overall I'm happy I'm through. That's what I look at in the end. Sometimes you have to come through when you're not playing your very best.

"I missed a few too many shots but I was always in the lead and could afford to do those."

Kamke certainly did not get intimidated by his opponent and foxed Federer at times with some bold shots.

"I was hitting particularly a lot with my forehand today," said Federer. "He was going there often, which is unusual because usually players go into my backhand. It was a bit unusual."

Looking ahead, Federer said there was one record he would particularly cherish.

"The absolute title, that's Connors. 109 (titles), I'm at 74 now," he said.

"Is it possible for me to equal Connors' title? 110, that would be a round figure. That would be incredible. But that's a dream. I go year after year and we'll see."

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 Slams simultaneously with a 7-6 6-3 6-1 win over Italian Potito Starace.

French Open : Day 2

The Serbian was dragged into a first-set tie-break, 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 said. "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."

Djokovic, who could meet Federer in the semi-final in a rematch of last year's epic last-four tie, is taking a down-to-earth approach to his quest.

"It doesn't give me an extra negative pressure. I really think it's a challenge and something to embrace and to enjoy," he said. "I'll try to go step by step."

Starace put up a decent fight in the opening set and was only broken in the fifth game of the second before Djokovic, who did not face a single break point throughout, found his stride on a sun-drenched Court Philippe Chatrier and raced home in just over two hours.

Djokovic next faces Blaz Kavcic after the Slovenian knocked out former world number one Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.

hlts Roland Garros: FEDERE

Reuters

Comment 27 - 47 of 47

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  1. @Yiannis P.. funny man:)) I'm good thanks.. hows­ things?? Oh boy, what is it about tennis? - it gets so­ personal sometimes - sorry, most of the time lol..

    From Dosh, on Tue 29 May 18:56
  2. Josh Davis, Federer will regain his top spot this year­ almost shurly after the US Open if not before, so what­ team is in front of Barca and Real in La Liga again,­ enlighten us if you will!

    From Johnny D, on Tue 29 May 12:45
  3. Dosh my friend, I assure you I am not­ "desperate" about whatever happens in tennis.­ How are you anyway?:)

    From YiannisP, on Tue 29 May 12:21
  4. @Yiannis P A relatively easy draw but­ "somehow" his mental strength will just break­ down.. You're smart enough to know that this is­ illogical, and frankly, it sounds quite desperate.

    From Dosh, on Tue 29 May 11:32
  5. Johnny@ Sometimes 0,01% happen.....now you see why­ it's not 100%. Hope it won't be 4 days break­ again, Fognnini etc....

    From Sasa, on Tue 29 May 9:06
  6. This record is a result of Federer's consistency in­ GS event. Reaching 23 straight SF/F is already amazing.­ In that streak alone, he already wins 150 matches­ (around). He will further stretch this record as he has­ 2-3 years more to play - unless he losses more in the­ earlier round of GS. Nice one FED!!

    From Leo, on Tue 29 May 4:52
  7. 7-11

    From EDDIE, on Tue 29 May 0:57
  8. sasa "but as I said 99.9% Rafa­ vs Nole­ final", would you have said that last year too? ­ And last year this time arround, Djokovic was­ invincible... ;)

    From Johnny D, on Tue 29 May 0:33
  9. First week is always tje same, low ranked guys starting­ the match full power, nothing to lose tactic.­ That's cost top guys strugling in the first couple­ of games, and then......easy ride to win. Sometimes it­ happen that low ranked consist three sets, and we have­ big supprise match, but not with the Top three. ­ It's too early to judge, but as I said 99.9% Rafa­ vs Nole final.

    From Sasa, on Tue 29 May 0:20
  10. Academy award winner: SAMantha!

    From EDDIE, on Mon 28 May 23:46
  11. Fed wants to be number one again. Everybody read that­ on Eurosport. As to winning one or two more slams it­ is possible as he is well fit and still strong but the­ presence of Djoko and Nadal make it tough for him. We­ will wait and see. His best chance this year of winning­ a slam is at Wimby and I hope he wins his 17th GS­ there. He will continue playing until he is 35 or more­ and winning some more GS is possible.

    From EDDIE, on Mon 28 May 23:35
  12. If he takes 2 slams he is automaticly promoted to nr. 1­ rofl!

    From Johnny D, on Mon 28 May 23:33
  13. Federer does not care about number he just wants 2­ slams this year let nadal and Novak be number 1!

    From Sam parikh, on Mon 28 May 23:13
  14. Rafa;s dominace on clay ended 2 years agor. Its an open­ tournament. See you in two weeks time

    From JSE, on Mon 28 May 23:11
  15. Well, yes Rafa does have a relatively easy draw having­ avoided a Delpo or Berdych, so it's difficult to­ see him failing to reach the final and indeed win the­ thing. But... there is a force that is against him and­ this force usually manifests itself in our world­ through a certain "expert" tennis blogger who­ contributes on this site. He is just a tool of course,­ just the messenger. As strong as Rafa is mentally,­ there are powers he (or any of us for that matter)­ can't beat. So I just don't see him through.­ Someone, somehow, at some stage, will beat him.

    From YiannisP, on Mon 28 May 22:14
  16. Fed and Djoko can be number one, no comment on Nadal as­ it is more important to win the FO than being number­ one...then possibly Wimby.

    From EDDIE, on Mon 28 May 22:09
  17. as much as i would like federer vs nadal FINAL.. i­ guess it's gonna be djokovic vs nadal... &­ nadal to win french open

    From skywalkertw01, on Mon 28 May 22:06
  18. oops i meat 4th round against raonic, that will be the­ big test.

    From ralph, on Mon 28 May 21:57
  19. good win for fed always good to get the first one out­ the way, the real comp starts in the second week in the­ 4th round till then its just about getting there,­ yannis regarding nadal, he actually has one of the­ easiest draws since a long time, his probable 3rd round­ match against raonic will prove interesting other than­ that cant see him being troubled till the finals, but­ we will see anything can happen in the meantime, would­ u kindly explain super natural forces i take it u are­ talking abt pressure hmm i dont think that will affect­ him, come the semis maybe but before ?? i doubt it.

    From ralph, on Mon 28 May 21:56
  20. nothing to read into today's results. Federer is­ right, and Rafa always says the same: the first match­ in any tournament is always a challenge - regardless of­ opponent. The players are in the process of getting­ used to the court, the balls, environment, arena, and a­ bit of nerves - Its not unusual to see the top players­ struggle a bit in first round matches.. Going through­ in straight sets, 4 or 5 sets is the most important­ thing. The true form begins to show in the 2-3rd­ rounds.

    From Dosh, on Mon 28 May 21:35
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