As the years go by, Roger Federer has little trouble coping with the pressure of playing the early rounds of a Grand Slam event but it is an altogether different story when it comes to dealing with post-match scrutiny.
The Swiss third seed won a record 234th Grand Slam match, surpassing Jimmy Connors’s professional-era record, by dismissing Adrian Ungur 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-3 in the second round on Wednesday.The 16-times Major champion should have won the match in straight sets but did not seem too concerned about his minor wobble in the third set.
“I think (playing the early rounds) is a bit easier now, just because I have been around for so long that, even though I expect myself to win, I can still manage to do that,” the third seed said.
“Whereas in the beginning when you think you're good but you're maybe not that good yet, you suffer many more surprise losses.” But with fame comes scrutiny.
“The difference to playing a match where you're the overwhelming favourite potentially in the early rounds of a grand slam is you have to (deal with the) press (inquisition) afterwards,” said Federer.
“So you're talking about a match that potentially wasn’t that close sometimes or they make a bigger deal out of maybe you losing a set or getting broken a couple of times, whereas maybe at another tournament you wouldn't talk about that.”
Federer seemed in complete control of his match against Ungur before he wasted two match points in the third-set tiebreak, allowing world the number 91 to stretch the match into a fourth set. Federer said he let his guard down in the tiebreak he lost 8-6.
“Instead of being aggressive, I let him show me what he could do. He played two beautiful shots,” he said.
Ungur then ran out of steam as Federer cruised through the set and into round three.
Federer, contesting his 14th consecutive French Open, will next face either Nicolas Mahut or Martin Klizan.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic, aiming to become the first man in 43 years to hold all four Majors at the same time, rattled off the first seven games before faltering against Slovenian Blaz Kavcic.
“I stopped,” said the Serbian after the match turned into a fierce battle which he finally won 6-0, 6-4, 6-4. “I gave him the opportunity to come back into the match after a perfect first seven games.”
Women’s No 1 Victoria Azarenka redeemed herself after narrowly avoiding first-round defeat when she easily beat German qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-1 6-1 in her second match.
US Open champion Sam Stosur raced to a 5-0 lead before beating Irina Falconi 6-1 6-4.
Argentine Juan Martin del Potro also reached the third round with a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.