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FedEx crosses first hurdle

sports Updated: May 26, 2008 22:56 IST
Hindustan Times
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Roger Federer made a winning return to the French Open, the only Grand Slam title that has eluded him. The top-ranked Federer beat Sam Querrey of the United States 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 on Monday in the first round at Roland Garros, where the 12-time major champion is trying to become only the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam.

Federer was broken once early in the first set, but he managed to win five times on Querrey's serve. "Once I got settled I played a little bit more better," Federer said.

On the women's side, No 3 Jelena Jankovic and No 8 Venus Williams advanced. Williams joined sister Serena in the second round, but she struggled in the second set before beating Tzipora Obziler of Israel 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

The third-seeded Jankovic got a little love from the net to help her beat Monica Niculescu 7-6 (3), 6-2. Leading 4-2 in the first-set tiebreaker, last year's French Open semifinalist had a drop volley hit the top of the net and roll along the tape before falling into the opposite court.

In the second set, Jankovic lost her serve after breaking her Romanian opponent in the opening game, then dominated the rest of the match.

The first set was when she had the most trouble, despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Williams led 4-1 in the second set but Obziler won five straight games to even the match. The Israeli then broke Williams in the opening game of the deciding set, but the eighth-seeded American broke back to level the score at 1-1, and then broke again to take a 3-1 lead. After trading two more breaks, Williams won twice more on Obziler's serve.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, the youngest person in the singles tournament at 16, reached the second round by beating Maria Emilia Salerni of Argentina 6-1, 6-1.

No 10 Patty Schnyder, No 12 Agnes Szavay and No 32 Karin Knapp also advanced, while No 23 Alona Bondarenko lost to Petra Cetkovska 6-3, 6-0. Richard Gasquet withdrew because of a left knee injury.

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