French Open: Roger Federer humbles Denis Istomin in first round
Swiss maestro Roger Federer claimed an emphatic win in the opening round of Roland Garros 2021. The 20-time Grand Slam champion outclassed Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in straight sets (6-2, 6-4, 6-3) to win his second match of the year. Federer missed the French Open last year due to his knee issues that kept him out of the whole season. Here is more.
On his return to French Open, Federer wrapped up the first set in mere 24 minutes. He looked more agile than before, and moved all around the court in the opening set. Although Istomin won the first game in the second set, Federer broke in the third game before winning 6-4. The third set remained one-sided as Federer earned a first-round win.
Federer has won his 71st match at Roland Garros. The world number eight has the third-most French Open match-wins after Rafael Nadal (100) and Novak Djokovic (74). This is Federer's first victory over Istomin here even though the former now owns an 8-0 ATP head-to-head lead. Federer is now 2-2 in the season, and will be bidding for a second Roland Garros title.
Ahead of the French Open, Federer was stunned by Pablo Andujar at the Geneva Open. The former earlier made a successful return to the ATP Tour after beating Daniel Evans in Doha. This was his first Grand Slam since a semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic in the 2020 Australian Open. Federer had missed the previous season after undergoing multiple surgeries on his right knee.
Federer will now face either French wild card Arthur Rinderknech or the 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic in the second round. Notably, he has won 29 of his 30 matches against qualifiers at the majors. If Federer bags his second French Open title next week, he would become the first man in the Open Era to win every Grand Slam championship twice.