Aussies battle at Roland Garros
Roger Federer toyed with Peter Luczak on centre court at the French Open before chalking up an easy win as the Australians largely wilted in the warm Paris sunshine on Monday.
Federer wiped away any lingering concerns about his form by producing some majestic touches in his 6-4 6-1 6-2 opening round win in one hour and 48 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.
“If it was anyone else I would have been pretty angry,” Luczak said.
“But he just had it on a string and was just toying with me at the end.”
“I think he was really enjoying it at the end and he got some real confidence out of it.”
Luczak was the not the only Australian finding life difficult at Roland Garros, merely the most visible.
Czech Lucie Safarova earlier made light work of an error-riddled Jelena Dokic 6-2 6-2 in just a tick under an hour.
It took qualifier Sophie Ferguson to open the nation’s account, the 24-year-old Sydneysider upsetting Petra Kvitova 1-6 6-2 6-2 out on court 14.
The world No.142 defeated the player ranked 79 spots in just under two hours and raised her fist in celebration after wrapping up the match.
It is only the second time in the 24-year-old’s career that she has progressed to the second round of a major, the last time being at the 2005 Australian Open.
World No.71 Luczak kept Federer on his toes in the opening set and the Swiss maestro even lost his cool towards the end of the first set over a line call.
But two points later Federer had captured the first set and there was not much that Luczak could do against the defending champion.
The longer the match went, the more regularly the 16-time grand slam winner started pulling out his party tricks to the delight of the crowd.
After being forced to meet Rafael Nadal in the opening round of this year’s Australian Open, Luczak could be forgiven for feeling a little hard done by with regards to the draw.
Dokic certainly felt she was but had little reason to complain in comparison.
She looked very much like a player still finding her way back to form after two months on the sidelines with an elbow injury.
The in-form Safarova was barely troubled as Dokic produced 24 unforced errors and six double faults.
World No.115 Dokic entered the match with only one win against a player ranked in the top 200 this year whereas Safarova had claimed five top-20 scalps in the past month.
They played true to the form guide with Dokic dropping the opening eight points of the match and Safarova never letting her back in the contest.
“I was nervous at the beginning and she got a head start and three games flew past before I could even get into a rally,” Dokic said.
“But outside of the top five this was one of the worst match-ups for me at the moment because I have not played many matches and she has played so well on clay this year.”
Dokic, 27, said she planned on toiling away in second-tier tournaments in the coming month before trying to win her way through to the main draw at Wimbledon via qualifying.© AAP 2013
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