PARIS: Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer began his campaign for a 17th Grand Slam title with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over Australia’s Peter Luczak in the French Open first round on Monday.
Less than two hours later, with Paris temperatures soaring towards 30 degrees, women’s top seed Serena Williams, chasing a 13th major, also made the second round with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 win over Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele.
The Swiss maestro, who will face Colombia’s Alejandro Falla for a place in the last-32, was barely troubled by the 71stranked Luczak, who has never won a match at the French Open in four attempts. Despite the win, Federer, playing in his 42nd successive Grand Slam event, refused to look forward to a fourth Roland Garros final against old rival Rafael Nadal.
“He’s in great form, but I’m just looking at my draw. The final hasn’t happened yet,” said Federer, who has yet to win a clay-court title this season.
Also through are men’s third seed and 2008 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, Stanislas Wawrinka, Marcos Baghdatis, John Isner and Tomas Berdych.
Serena Williams, the 2002 champion, showed no ill-effects from the recent knee problems that sidelined her for three months, as she fired 28 winners and 10 aces past Voegele, the world 76. The American, who collected her 12th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, next faces Julia Goerges of Germany.
Meanwhile, Caroline Wozniacki, best known for knocking Maria Sharapova out of Wimbledon in 2008, clinched a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.
Safely through also is Chinese number one Li Na, the 11th seed, and Russian fifth seed Elena Dementieva.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 25th, 2010.