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Roger Federer Returns to Roland-Garros with Victory | Sports Pundit

The eighth seed advances to the second round of the French Open, outlasting qualifier Denis Istomin.

Roger Federer met Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin on Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris.

The match marked Federer’s return to the major French tournament after a two-year absence – he last played a Grand Slam match 487 days ago, an eternity to those anxious to see the tennis star back to business.

The 2009 champion moved past ranked No. 204 with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 win in one hour and 33 minutes without facing a break point across the three sets.

Early on, the wold No. 8 broke Istomin’s serve, taking the lead, to open a 4-2 gap in 15 minutes.

Dictating the rhythm with a solid serve, hitting 15 winners, and smashing six aces, the 39-year-old took the opener 6-2 in 22 minutes.

The French Open five-time finalist continued to display an impressive performance with a break to 11 in the second set, to seal it with a 6-4 win.

In 57 minutes of pure tennis action, the former world No. 1 hit 31 winners, recording 12 unforced errors while his rival saved four of five break points.

During the third set, it was the 34-year-old who produced an early break on the Swiss player, taking the lead at 2-1, albeit the 20-time Grand Slam champion quickly leveled up at 2-2 and never looked back.

The Basel native edged his opponent in style in 32 minutes, sealing the match with a 6-3 victory.

Contesting his fourth match in almost a year and a half – after undergoing two knee surgeries, he certainly has plenty of reasons to celebrate moving to the second round at Roland-Garros.

Overall, I am very happy as well I moved pretty well today. I also kept rallies short purposely so I would not get dragged into the long rallies. Always throw in the drop shot,” Federer said.

All in all, the six-time Nitto ATP Finals winner, converted 5 of 13 break point opportunities, hit 48 winners, and won 80% of points on his first serve to Istomin 59%, and 79% on his second, also he smashed eight aces, scoring zero double faults to four from the two-time ATP tour titlist.

Next, Federer will face world No. 47 Marin Cilic; both players won in straight sets on Monday.

The Croatian player beat French wild card Arthur Rinderknech 7-6 (6), 6-1, 6-2 in two hours and 19 minutes on Court Simonne Mathieu.

Cilic and Federer have played against each other on ten different occasions, with the latter winning 90% of their encounters.

On Wednesday, they will meet again for the 11th time in their careers.

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