Coming off a title run in Basel with the championship win over Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer continued his ass-kicking, name-taking run in his opener at the Masters Paris on Wednesday, manhandling Italian Andreas Seppi, who has defeated him earlier this year in Australia, 6-1, 6-1 to advance to a meeting with American John Isner.
“It’s very pleasant to play matches like this one,” said Federer after logging 47 minutes of work for the day. “Of course, I like great battles, playing two, three, four, five hours. But 47 minutes is always very pleasant. You need to focus a lot for the very short time you are on the court, not to make any mistakes. I’m very happy with this mental performance.”
The No. 3 seed Federer improved to 59-9 on the year, and will take a 5-1 career record against Isner into the contest against the giant-serving American.
“Obviously indoors here in Paris he’s played well historically here, and I know it’s not going to be easy,” Federer said of the American. “I need to make sure I focus on my own game and see what I can do on his serve. There are only so many opportunities. That was the case at the US Open, I had to come up with some great shots at the right time to win that second‑set tiebreaker and have to wait for a long, long time to break him (Federer won 7-6, 7-6, 7-5). We will see how it goes tomorrow.”
The Swiss was one of seven of the Top 10 in action on the day, all winners with No. 2 Andy Murray rolling Borna Coric 6-1, 6-2; No. 5 Tomas Berdych struggling past Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 4-6, 7-5; No. 6 Kei Nishikori likewise needing to work to defeat Jeremy Chardy 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-1; No. 7 Rafa Nadal pounding nemesis Lukas Rosol 6-2, 6-2; No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga easing past Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-2; and No. 10 Richard Gasquet defeating Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 7-5.
Murray knew he needed to up his play after losing to Coric earlier this year.
“I thought I played a pretty good match,” Murray said. “I served well. I felt like I was able to move the ball around the court nicely and was able to dictate most of the points. Also when I wanted to step into the court, I had enough time to do that and was able to get the ball going through the surface. So it was a good start.”
Nadal, coming of a solid performance in the Basel final, said it was business as usual against Rosol, a player he has struggled mightily with over the years.
“I didn’t prepare differently,” the Spaniard said after beating Rosol in consecutive weeks. “It was just another match, a tough match against a difficult player. He’s always tough, but I was playing much better than I did last week in the first round. I played a solid match, not many mistakes. I served well and went for the points with my forehand.”
On the upset tip Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov ousted No. 12 Marin Cilic 7-6(3), 7-6(2), and Serb Viktor Troicki came from a set down to beat No. 15 Feliciano Lopez 6-7(7), 7-5, 6-4.
No. 16 David Goffin cruised past Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-2, and No. 11 Kevin Anderson came back to beat Dominic Thiem.
On Thursday, it’s Murray against David Goffin in a Davis Cup preview.
“The ball and the movements and everything are completely different on a clay court, and that’s why some guys play better on some surfaces than others,” Murray said of the Belgian. “So it’s obviously good to play against him. He’s ranked around 15 in the world, and the last 18 months really he’s been extremely consistent. He’s not the biggest guy on the tour, but he hits the ball clean off both sides. He’s quick around the court.”
Both Federer and Nadal have tall tests with the Swiss meeting John Isner and Nadal going up against Anderson. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also faces Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic will look to continue his streak against Gilles Simon.
Stan Wawrinka collides with Viktor Troicki and if that’s not enough David Ferrer clashes with Grigor Dimitrov.
That’s all Top 10 players in action tomorrow!
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