Federer eases past Benneteau; One step closer to milestone

Second seed and 2009 titlist Roger Federer is one match win away from 900 career victories after easing his way into the Roland Garros fourth round on Friday. He goes on to challenge No. 15 seed Gilles Simon or No. 18 seed Sam Querrey.

"I'm happy because I have not used much of my energy so far," said Federer, who is yet to drop a set. "I'm still there in the tournament, and therefore, I think I can perhaps go deep in the tournament. I feel totally relaxed. Mentally I'm okay. I'm quite confident. I can feel it, which is what you need to be if you want to go deep and have good results here at Roland Garros."

Federer recorded a 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 30 seed Julien Benneteau to ensure there was no repeat of last year’s Wimbledon third round clash, which lasted five sets. It also avenged his loss to Benneteau at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in February.

Benneteau got off to the best possible start, breaking Federer to 30 in the opening game. Despite taking a 2-0 lead, the World No. 32 was clawed back. Federer won six of the next seven games, with Benneteau looking physically flat in the latter stages of the 28-minute first set. Federer won 76 per cent of his first service points.

In the second set that lasted 31 minutes, Federer slid across the clay gracefully and produced some fluent strokes that left Benneteau – who battled hard – motionless. Federer hit 18 winners and won 80 per cent of his second service points to control the match. Federer broke decisively at 5-5 in the third set to move closer to another major milestone.

"You are so nice to me," Federer said courtside with a smile. "I'm sorry for Julien, he looked diminished," he added after a 91-minute tennis masterclass.

''He beat me at Rotterdam this year and he was incredibly ready at Wimbledon,'' said Federer, who improved to 5-2 against Benneteau. ''But he wasn't in the best of form today, and you could see that he was a bit hindered by the leg problem he's had for the past couple of days.''

"I felt that I was not at the best level, given all the efforts I made during the first two matches," said Benneteau, who has been nursing a groin injury. "My shots were not as heavy, I was not moving enough."

Date: 31st May 2013, Source: ATP


  1. Good to see Roger relaxed in these early stages. Long may it last.