Federer advances at French Open

Federer advances at French Open
May 25, 2014, 9:45 am
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In 2009, Federer won a pair of Grand Slam singles titles: the French Open over Robin Söderling, and Wimbledon over Andy Roddick. (AP)

PARIS -- The young Federer sisters were in the stands watching daddy win his opening match at the French Open, and the Williams sisters were on separate courts Sunday ensuring their own progress.

Roger Federer had little trouble beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. As soon as he finished, Serena Williams took over on Court Philippe Chatrier, the main stadium at Roland Garros, and beat Alize Lim 6-2, 6-1.

Over on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Venus Williams was also playing, and winning. The older Williams sibling defeated Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1.

"I definitely feel like I'm proud of her, but at the same time I want her to keep going and do better and do more and do more," the 32-year-old Serena said of her big sister. "And then our relationship, we have just grown older, we are still really close. It's evolved, where it's evolved, I think in a good way."

Serena, the defending champion, could meet Venus in the third round if both get through their next matches.

The French Open is only Federer's third clay-court tournament this season. He reached the final in Monte Carlo but missed the Madrid tournament when his second set of twins, boys Leo and Lenny, was born.

His first match after their birth was a loss in Rome.

On Sunday, with the clay court hard and damp due to days of rain and overcast skies, the fourth-seeded Federer was back to himself, winning five of his 11 break points.

"I was happy seeing, getting early signs out of the match that I was actually playing well and I was going to get my chances I was looking for," Federer said. "My personal life, as we know, it's all great, so I'm happy the family is here."

Federer's twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, will turn 5 in July. They were sitting in Federer's box along with his wife Mirka at the start.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to start on Sunday, and Federer played the second match on center court.

"I wasn't nervous, actually, going into the match. It's more just like those hints of fear, maybe yesterday, maybe this morning at one point, just for like five seconds, `Oh, I really hope I don't have to pack my bags today,' that kind of feeling," Federer said.

Eighth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada also advanced, beating Nick Kyrgios of Australia 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-3.

Raonic is the youngest man in the top 10 of the tennis rankings, and Kyrgios was the youngest man in this year's French Open draw at 19.

"I was a bit nervous going out in the first set. That's normal, I think," said Kyrgios, a former top-ranked junior player who won the junior Australian Open in 2013.

Other men's winners included No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, No. 10 John Isner of the United States, No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, No. 22 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, No. 31 Dmitry Tursunov of Russia and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic.

Serena Williams dictated most points in her match against Lim, a wild-card entry from France.

The top-seeded Serena is a 17-time major champion who was facing a woman making her Grand Slam debut. Still, there was a bit of shakiness from the 32-year-old American as she served out the final game, erasing four break points and needing five match points to close things.

"I was a little nervous, like I always am in my first round," Serena said. "It's kind of always hard for me to shake those nerves and go from there."

With the victory, Serena improved to 54-1 in first-round matches at majors. The only loss came at the 2012 French Open against 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano.

Also, Agnieszka Radwanska was able to reach the second round - once she got a handle on her serve.

Radwanska and Zhang Shuai traded breaks in the opening seven games of their match, but the third-seeded Pole finally held and won the final nine games to become the first player to reach the second round, winning 6-3, 6-0.

"So many breaks in a row," said Radwanska, who blamed her struggles on the wet court.

No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain and 31 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia also advanced. No. 25 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia lost to Monica Niculescu of Romania 5-7, 6-3, 6-1.

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