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French Open: Federer cruises past Carreno-Busta to the second round

Anand Datla
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Feature
Modified 19 Dec 2019, 22:01 IST

2013 French Open - Day One

In the 54th consecutive Grand Slam event of his illustrious career, Roger Federer turned up a largely spotless performance to begin his campaign for a second French Open title. The Swiss maestro enthralled an eager crowd inside the Court Philippe Chatrier at the Roland Garros with some vintage tennis to oust Pablo Carreno-Busta, a Spanish debutant, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 20 minutes.

Carreno-Busta has made quite a name for himself this year. The Spaniard won seven consecutive Futures events and underlined his consistency by making the semi-finals at the ATP event in Portugal. He won his 45th match this year against the German Dominik Meffert in the third round of the qualifiers to make his first ever main draw at a Grand Slam event.

But against the might of Federer, the 166th ranked player was shown his limitations. In his 15th year at Roland Garros, the Swiss struck a sweetly timed forehand return winner to earn his first break point in the first game. Pablo obliged with the break when he sliced one into the net on the next point.

The world No. 2 broke serve two more times to take a commanding 5-0 lead in the first set. Federer, who seems to have lost his ability to clinically finish things, suffered a sudden jitter just when he was serving for the set. Federer fell to 15-40 and even though he forced deuce, a couple of errors cost him the break.

The Swiss made amends in the eighth game by striking a typically aesthetic forehand cross court winner for his first set point. A backhand winner down the line sealed the set in his favour inside the half hour mark. Federer struck ten winners to stamp his authority on the contest.

The second set mirrored the first as the Swiss raced away to a 4-0 lead, prompting the French to spur on the Spaniard to raise his level to make a contest out of the mismatched first round encounter. Carreno-Busta responded with the best service game of the afternoon to stem the tide with a couple of service winners to clinch the fifth game.

Federer, though, was living in his own world, showing off great agility at the net to punch away a forehand volley winner for set point. The second set was done faster than the first, when the Spaniard could only get a feeble touch on a serve down the middle on the next point.

A double fault in the first game of the third set pushed Carreno-Busta deeper into the mire, when Federer converted the break point with a singing forehand down the line winner. The early break enabled the Swiss to take his foot off the pedal and coast home to a comfortable victory.

Federer reached match point with an overhead smash and a vintage backhand down the line winner sealed the fate of the qualifier. The Swiss struck 33 winners, some of them with trademark elegance, to outplay Carreno-Busta. The Spaniard did his own chances no good, making as many as 29 unforced errors to surrender meekly. Federer converted each of the seven break opportunities that came his way in the first round match.

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The victory was Federer’s 55th career victory at the French Open against 13 losses over a fifteen year stretch. India’s Somdev Devvarman could battle the Swiss in the second round, if he can defeat another Spanish qualifier Daniel Munoz-De La Nava in his first round match today.

Published 26 May 2013, 20:26 IST
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