Roger Federer breezed into the third round of the French Open for the 15th time on Wednesday after beating German Oscar Otte, while 11-time champion Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas also made their way into the next round.
The 37-year-old Swiss held off world number 144 after saving all four break points he had faced in a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win on Court Philippe Chatrier. He had no problem in playing his normal game as he broke the opponent once in each set and continued to put up strong serves against him throughout the match. The 20-time Grand Slam winner will now face Norway’s Casper Ruud who defeated the 29th seed from Italy Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 7-5, 6-3. “The Grand Slams are incredible. You can meet a player who qualified whom (you) have not heard of before. It was difficult, he really played a great match,” said Federer, whose last appearance at the Roland Garros was way back in 2015.
Rafael Nadal also continued the strong start he has made in his bid for a record-extending 12th French Open title with a comfortable win over German qualifier Yannick Maden. The 32-year-old clay master was in total control of his game, except some nervy moment in the final set, as he beat his opponent 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. The 17-time major champion finished the match with 43 winners against just 23 unforced errors and will now take on the 27th seed from Belgium David Goffin in the round of 32.
“He (Maden) is a good player. He had already won four matches so was full of confidence. For me it was an important victory,” said Nadal, whose Roland Garros win-loss record now reads an incredible 88-2. After three consecutive semi-final defeats n clay this season, he seemed to have peaked his form at the right time by winning the Italian Open title and winning all his matches with straight sets in Paris so far.
Greek young sensation Tsitsipas came on top of a hard battle against Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien on Court Simonne Mathieu. He managed to grind out a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 victory on his fourth match point. The sixth seed, who had defeated Roger Federer in Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year, will now clash against Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in his maiden appearance in the third round. “Once I got myself into the right mindset, things seemed to flow my way. And from there, winning the set 6-0 was good confidence boost for me,” said 20-year-old Tsitsipas after winning his match.
2015 champion Stan Wawrinka also proved that he is still in the contention of winning this year as he defeated in-form Chilean Cristian Garin 6-1, 6-4, 6-0. He will now face Bulgaria’s Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov who beat former US Open winner and world number 11 Marin Cilic.
On the women’s front, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina will face 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza in the third round after the ninth seed’s compatriot Kateryna Kozlova pulled out of the tournament before their match with a viral infection. Spain’s Muguruza, seeded 19th this year, eased to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Swede Johanna Larsson to advance. Svitolina, a two-time French Open quarter-finalist, had beaten seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in her opening tie. Second seed Karolina Pliskova also clinched a straight-sets win in round two, beating Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova 6-2, 6-2 to set up a tie with Croatian 31st seed Petra Martic.
Last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens cruised through with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) win over Sara Sorribes Tormo on Court Philippe Chatrier. The former US Open champion, who lost to Simona Halep in the 2018 French Open final, will play Slovenia’s Polona Hercog next after she edged out American Jennifer Brady 6-3, 6-7 (8/10), 6-4. Seventh seed Stephens has now reached at least the third round at Roland Garros on each of her last seven visits to the French capital.