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Sport

Federer and Williams on form in French Open

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-05-27

Roger Federer and Serena Williams put in strong performances on Sunday as the French Open got under way. Federer demolished Spain's Pablo Carreno-Busta in straight sets while Williams beat Georgia's Anna Tatishvili in just 51 minutes.

Serena Williams buried the misery of her 2012 Roland Garros horror show to storm into the French Open second round Sunday as Roger Federer enjoyed an untroubled start to his 54th consecutive Grand Slam.

The 31-year-old Williams, bidding for a 16th Grand Slam singles title, suffered her worst defeat at a major in Paris 12 months ago when she was dumped out of the first round by Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

But on Sunday, Williams extended her current winning streak to 25, the best of her career, with a 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Georgia's Anna Tatishvili, the world number 80.

It took Williams just 51 minutes to complete victory on a chilly Court Philippe Chatrier, firing 27 aces to her opponent's four.

Williams, who won over the usual hard-faced Paris crowd by delivering an on-court interview in French, admitted that Roland Garros is the tournament which has caused her the most problems.

"It hasn't been working out for me. I just think I may have gotten nervous in the past or may have basically choked a few matches away," she said.

"Some matches I just lost because maybe I wasn't intense enough or maybe I didn't do enough work."

Williams next faces France's Caroline Garcia who, as a raw 17-year-old, was a set and 4-1 to the good against Maria Sharapova in 2011 before slipping to defeat.

Federer, the 2009 champion and hunting an 18th major, saw off Spanish qualifier Pablo Carreno-Busta, the world number 166, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

The 21-year-old Spaniard had started the year at 654 before winning seven Futures events and claiming an astonishing record of 53 wins in 57 matches on the circuit's third tier.

But Federer, playing in his 15th Roland Garros, was too strong, building the foundation for victory with a break in the opening game of all three sets.

The Swiss star, who bitterly attacked organisers for forcing him to play on a Sunday when the tournament extended its programme in 2006, said he was now happy to have the extra day's rest that the early start affords.

"I didn't agree with how things went. Wimbledon does it in 13 days and the French does it in 15," said 31-year-old Federer after firing 33 winners and 10 aces past Carreno-Busta to achieve his 55th career victory at Roland Garros.

"But I do understand that a weekend for tennis is very important for the people who can show up. I'm happy this time around. I told them if they wanted me to play Sunday, whatever, I'm fine with it."

Next up for Federer is Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman.

While Williams was untroubled, big sister Venus suffered her first opening round defeat in Paris since 2001 when she slumped to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4 loss to Poland's Urszula Radwanska, 10 years her junior.

The seven-time major champion went down fighting, however, coming back from 0/4 down in the second set tiebreak to force a decider where she eventually went down on a second match point after three hours 19 minutes on court.

"I am still shaking," said Radwanska. "It was a real long match and Venus was playing really well."

Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer cruised through with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win over Australia's Marinko Matosevic whose Grand Slam record now reads nine matches played, nine matches lost.

Ferrer, a semi-finalist in 2012, next faces either compatriot Albert Montanes or America's Steve Johnson.

Lleyton Hewitt, like Federer a former world number one, but now down at 85 in the world, put in a trademark gut-busting performance before losing a five-set thriller to French 15th seed Gilles Simon.

Hewitt had been 5-0 down in the decider and saved two match points to claw back to 5-5, but Simon just had enough stamina to achieve a 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 win, his first triumph from two sets to love down.

Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 champion and 14th seed, clinched a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Croatia's Petra Martic and next faces either France's Mathilde Johansson or Chanelle Scheepers for a place in the last 32.

Italian fifth seed Sara Errani, the runner-up to Sharapova last year, had the honour of being the first player to reach the second round, breezing past Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-1, 6-2.

The 26-year-old will next face highly-rated Kazakh teenager Yulia Putintseva.

Russian 11th seed Nadia Petrova, a semi-finalist in 2003 and 2005, was the day's biggest seeded casualty, losing 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Puerto Rica's Monica Puig, one of 15 teenagers in the draw and who is making her Grand Slam debut.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-05-26

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