Tue | Apr 23, 2019

Federer cruise

Published:Saturday | May 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Switzerland's Roger Federer clenches his fist after scoring a point in the third-round match of the French Open tennis yesterday.


One of Roger Federer's 5-year-old twin daughters had her nose buried in a comic book. The other was glued to a mobile phone. Shame, really, that they didn't look up, because the tennis their father wove on the French Open centre court verged on art.

The canvas for Federer's strokes, the backhand as smooth as a cat's paw and the forehand with crackle and pop, was Damir Dzumhur. The 23-year-old, the first Bosnian man to play at a major tournament, idolises the 17-time Grand Slam champion. He had to pinch himself as they warmed up in a chilly breeze for their third-round match yesterday.

"Strange feeling," Dzumhur said later. "Like I'm dreaming."

But Federer hitting this well: nightmare. He gave Dzumhur just one hour, 29 minutes of his time. The 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win put Federer into the last 16 for the 11th consecutive year at the only major tournament he hasn't won multiple times.

Although Maria Sharapova, by her own admittance, lacks Federer's artistry, the defending women's champion was the portrait of grit against 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, winning 6-3, 6-4.

That puts Sharapova into the fourth round for the fifth consecutive year.

The 2008 French Open champion is into the fourth round at a major tournament for the first time since the Australian Open last year.

Ivanovic was miffed with her sluggishness, pushed to three sets both times, in her first two matches. Against Donna Vekic, the seventh-seeded Serb hit overdrive, winning 6-0, 6-3 in 53 minutes.