Roger Federer keeps up serene progress at French Open

Swiss star completes third straight-sets victory to make fourth round at Roland Garros

Roger Federer serves during his match  against Bosnia’s  Damir Dzumhur  at the  French Open. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Roger Federer serves during his match against Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur at the French Open. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

 

Roger Federer continued his smooth progress at the French Open on Friday with a straightforward 6-4 6-3 6-2 defeat of Bosnian Damir Dzumhur to reach the fourth round.

Swiss Federer has won all nine sets he has played at Roland Garros this year as he attempts to win the title for a second time and extend his Grand Slam haul to 18.

Dzumhur, 10 years younger than Federer, tested his idol on occasion, showing a nice line in drop shots, but he never really threatened to detain the second seed for too long.

Federer broke serve in the fifth game, which was sufficient to bag the first set.

A majestic backhand pass gave Federer a break at the start of the second, but then he became a little sloppy and was broken when serving at 5-2.

He hit back immediately to move two sets ahead and rolled through the third with ease.

Federer, who lost to Ernests Gulbis in the fourth round last year, will face either French showman Gael Monfils or Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas for a quarter-final place.

Defending women’s champion Maria Sharapova passed her first serious test with flying colours, dismissing Australian 26th seed Samantha Stosur 6-3 6-4 to reach the last 16.

The second seed from Russia had too much poise and pace for Stosur, runner-up in 2010 and twice a semi-finalist, whose heavy top-spin game can be a handful on clay.

Sharapova, who played in the last three French Open finals, winning two, broke four times to seal a convincing win when Stosur fired a forehand wide.

The five-times Grand Slam champion will take on Czech 13th seed Lucie Safarova for a quarter-final spot.

Alize Cornet reached the fourth round for the first time, hoping to lead a wave of Les Blues into the last 16 at their home tournament.

The French number one, the latest to feel the weight of home expectation after a 15-year gap since Mary Pierce claimed the title, beat Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6 6-3 7-5.

When Lucic-Baroni fired a return of service long on match point, 29th seed Cornet collapsed joyfully onto to her back as if celebrating the title itself.

She only has Kristina Mladenovic to share the burden in the women’s draw, but the French men are advancing en masse in a bid to reclaim La Coupe des Mousquetaires.

It has been in foreign hands since Yannick Noah’s 1983 title, but seven Frenchmen have reached the third round this year, only one short of the professional era record, and most of them were in action on Friday, day six of the tournament.

Richard Gasquet completed that group when he returned to court to finish off Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq after their second round match was tied at two sets all overnight.

Gasquet won the fifth set 6-1 in 32 minutes.

“It’s very good for French tennis,” Gasquet, the 20th seed whose best performance here is the fourth round, said.

“It’s a good pressure, of course it’s difficult because everybody is expecting a lot from us and we are putting a lot of pressure ourselves on our shoulders.”

At least one Frenchman is guaranteed a spot in round four with 12th seed Gilles Simon playing compatriot Nicolas Mahut.

Former champion Ana Ivanovic wasted little time reaching the last 16, hitting top form after two three-setters to thrash Croatian teenager Donna Vekic 6-0 6-3.

The Serb has not been beyond the fourth round since she won the title in 2008 and will have to beat ninth seed Ekaterina Makarova if she is to improve on that record.

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