PARIS:Roger Federer talks in five languages. But which one does he curse in? After putting a forehand wide in the third set during his second round match against Marcel Granollers, Federer grabbed the towel, and shouted angrily into it. He was frustrated. It was unusual behaviour from the cool Swiss. But it was an unusual match too.
Federer was able to battle past the anger and the frustrations, despite falling back in the second and third set, to beat Granollers 6-4, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 on the sun-kissed Court Suzanne Lenglen on Wednesday. But it hardly felt like clay court tennis, with the two players constantly sizing each other up, slicing the ball, putting a spin on it, playing the drop shot with alarming regularity and perfection. Federer even threw in a desperate double-handed backhand lob.
“I was able to play with variation. I was offensive and successful at net. So overall, I was very, pleased,” said the World No 2 of his performance.
“I think things went well for me for the first couple of sets. I think I was in control. Even though I was down a break in the second set, I still felt the match was on my racquet. But the thing you don’t want to do is you want to start off badly, and that’s what happened in the beginning of the third. I played a horrible game. But after that, it was probably my best spell of the match.”
Federer made 37 approaches to the net, winning the point 30 times. His rival rushed ahead 24 times, making it count on 15 occasions. It wasn’t a monotonous baseline battle.
The Spaniard’s serve, with its short hop at impact, hardly looks like it belongs in the professional arena. Everything about his game borders on the unconventional. While it is an open secret by now that the best way to trouble Federer is break him down physically, Granollers was ready to play the maneuvering game with the Swiss. And he was not bad at it. It’s just that Federer was better on the day.
1 Roger Federer has lost only 1 match in the second round of Grand Slams in his illustrious career. He has won the remaining 56.
100 Local boy Gael Monfils won a seesaw match 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 against Diego Schwartzman to claim his 100th career win on clay.
$3000Venus Williams was fined $3000 after failing to show up for a press conference following a first round loss.
Round 2: Men’s singles: R Federer (SUI x2) bt M Granollers (ESP) 6-2, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3; T Berdych (CZE x4) bt R Stepanek (CZE) 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3, 6-3; K Nishikori (JPN x5) bt T Bellucci (BRA) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; S Wawrinka (SUI x8) bt D Lajovic (SRB) 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Women’s singles: M Sharapova (RUS x2) bt V Diatchenko (RUS) 6-3, 6-1; M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) bt S Halep (ROM x3) 7-5, 6-1.
Round 1: Men’s doubles: R Bopanna (IND x9)/F Mergea (ROU x9) bt F Krajinovic (SRB)/V Troicki (SRB) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4; D Nestor (CAN x10)/L Paes (IND x10) bt J Duckworth (AUS)/C Guccione (AUS) 6-2, 5-7, 7-5. Women’s doubles: M Hingis (SUI x1)/S Mirza (IND x1) bt J Goerges (GER)/B Krejcikova (CZE) 6-3, 6-0.
Thursday’s Order of Play — Round 2
Court Philippe Chatrier
J Goerges (GER) vs C Wozniacki (DEN x5)
N Almagro (ESP) vs R Nadal (ESP x6)
A Murray (GBR x3) vs J Sousa (POR)
D Kovinic (MNE) vs K Mladenovic (FRA)
Court Suzanne Lenglen
P Kvitova (CZE x4) vs S Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
S Williams (USA x1) vs AL Friedsam (GER)
N Djokovic (SRB x1) vs G Muller (LUX)
R Gasquet (FRA x20) vs C Berlocq (ARG)