PARIS: Roger Federer cruised past Spain’s Feliciano Lopez at the French Open on Monday in a gentle reminder that there is more to Roland Garros this year than Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Federer, the record 16-time Grand Slam title-winner and 2009 Roland Garros champion, clinched a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) first-round win, his ninth victory in nine outings against the stylish left-hander.
The world number three, playing at his lowest seeding in eight years at a Grand Slam, is taking part in his 46th consecutive Grand Slam tournament.
He had won all his previous eight matches against Lopez but would have been wary of an opponent who had a match point in their last encounter at the Madrid Masters second round earlier this month.
However, he was in little danger on Monday, cruising to victory against a player who has now lost eight times in the first round in 11 Paris visits.
Federer will next tackle French wild card Maxime Teixeira for a place in the last 32.
The 29-year-old Federer broke in the eighth game of the opening set and seventh of the second to take a stranglehold on the tie played on a sun-kissed Court Philippe Chatrier.
Lopez at least delayed the Federer surge in the third set, but a double fault handed the Swiss three match points and the third seed’s 12th ace secured victory after two hours on court.(AFP)