At one-set all and down two breaks in the third, world No. 2 and three-time defending runner-up Roger Federer kicked it into a higher gear on Thursday at the French Open, defeating Argentine Jose Acasuso 7-6(8), 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-2 to move into the third round.
“It was sort of a fun match to be part of with so many ups and downs,” Federer told reporters. “I’m not part of such close matches that often. So when they happen, it’s great to put in the fight when you can. Definitely it was a sign of mental strength and the physical abilities I have.”
The cool conditions favored Acasuso, slowing things down for the Swiss and hampering his attacking game.
“Conditions were very slow, extremely slow,” Federer told reporters. “It was even raining in the beginning. So of course that takes away game plans because you can’t just attack the net blindly and try to bluff your way through a match like this.”
Federer will next face Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, the No. 32 seed who advanced on Thursday with a straight-set win over Pabl Andujar.
No. 6 Andy Roddick was a straight-set winner, subduing Ivo Minar in straights. Roddick is the lone American advancing into the third round at Roland Garros.
Other Top 10-seeded winners were (5) Juan Martin Del Potro over Viktor Troicki, (9) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beating Juan Monaco in four, and (10) Nikolay Davydenko coming from a set down to defeat Diego Junqueira.
“Sometimes you win so easily that it’s perhaps a bit dangerous,” del Potro told reporters. “When things are more complicated, it’s sometimes better, because sometimes when you think it’s going to be easy and then things get more complicated, it’s good. You can overcome the objects. This is what I did. I suffered sometimes quite a lot.”
No. 4 seed Novak Djokovic led Sergiy Stakhovsky two sets to love when the match was suspended for the day.
Other seeded winners were (11) Gael Monfils, (16) Tommy Robredo, (24) Jurgen Melzer, and (25) Igor Andreev.
No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber and Juan Carlos Ferrero were at two sets all when play was suspended.
Highlights Friday at the French are (12) Fernando Gonzalez vs. the Safin-killer Josselin Ouanna of France, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, (4) Novak Djokovic vs. the Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, (3) Andy Murray vs. Serb Janko Tipsarevic, (31) Nicolas Almagro vs. (8) Fernando Verdasco in an all-Spanish, (23) Robin Soderling vs. (14) David Ferrer, (18) Radek Stepanek vs. (13) Marin Cilic, (10) Nikolay Davydenko vs. (17) Stanislas Wawrinka, and (29) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero to finish.
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