French Open: Federer could have work cut out if he meets Japan’s Nishikori in semi-final
Roger Federer has moved swiftly into the third round of the French Open, but it was far from easy work, while Maria Sharapova also won out.
The second seed, Federer, worked his way back from 2-4 and 0-2 deficits in the second and third sets of a 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-3 victory over Spain’s Marcel Granollers.
Speaking afterwards, Federer said: “I think I was actually playing very well,”
“I wasn’t nervous really. 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 in my racquet. And when you feel that way, obviously you’re always going to feel more confident, more comfortable, not nervous.”
Federer will next face Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in round three after he knocked out Croatia’s Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 mid-afternoon.
“I don’t know him [Dzumhur] very well,” said Federer. “I might even go so far to say I have actually almost never seen him play maybe before. [It will be an] interesting match-up clearly, and [a] different approach to the match I played today.”
There is one name at the bottom half of the draw that Federer – 17 times grand slam champion – may be nervous of, and that is Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who he could face in the semi-final.
As Federer was on his way to his win over Granollers on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Nishikori produced a great performance on Court Philippe Chatrier, and it’s becoming more evident as to why he is tipped as a potential champion – as he beat left-handed Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.
The 25-year-old No5 seed had a tough test but looked in top shape winning 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round for the second time.
After winning the Geneva Open title last week, Bellucci was on form on clay, but Nishikori simply proved too strong a match for him.
Maria Sharapova – the women’s defending champion – beat fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko 6-3, 6-1 to set up a third-round match with Australian Sam Stosur.
Stosur, a 2010 runner-up who reached twice a semi-final at Roland Garros, easily beat French Amandine Hesse 6-0, 6-1.
Sharapova entered the tournament with a heavy cold and she chose to skip the usual post-match interview in the first round, which didn’t win her any favour of the fans.
“I’ve got to do what I have to do,” said Sharapova, “For me right now it’s really about recovery and just being healthy for the next round,” she added.
Stanislas Wawrinka, No8 seed, made progress despite dropping a set against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, winning 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.
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