Roger Federer navigated his way past a tricky opponent in the second round of the 2014 French Open Wednesday as took down Argentina's Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets at Roland Garros.
With the win, Federer added yet another accolade to an already long list as he has now won at least 60 matches at every Grand Slam, per Chiara Gambuzza of Tennis World Italia:
Most expected the Swiss superstar to steamroll is inexperienced opponent, but Schwartzman certainly created some nervous moments. Federer effectively used his knowledge and on-court savvy to advance to the third round, however.
The little-known Schwartzman is diminutive in size at 5'7", but the 21-year-old has had some success on clay on the Challenger Tour, including a Aix en Provence title earlier in the month. Schwartzman could be a clay-court factor down the line if his game continues to develop, but he isn't quite ready to push a player like Federer to the brink.
Federer had little issue beating Lukas Lacko in straight sets in the first round. He was pleased with his performance in that match, but acknowledged that an early exit could be lurking just around the corner, according to ATPWorldTour.com:
I'm happy I got off to a good start for the tournament here in Paris. There's always that little bit of feeling that if you don't feel well, if the opponent plays great, you could lose early. I was happy getting the early signs out of the match that I was actually playing well and I was going to get my chances. I'm very pleased with the outcome.
Schwartzman likely caused Federer's fans to hold their collective breath at various times throughout the match, but it proved to be a solid test for Fed en route to further challenges at Roland Garros.
As Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times pointed out, two people who didn't seem particularly concerned about the match were Federer's twin daughters, who looked on from the stands:
The Argentinian upstart ambushed Federer right off the bat as he earned a break to start the set. Unfortunately for Schwartzman, he was unable to capitalize as he gave the break of serve back, per Live Tennis:
After that early scare, Federer seemed to settle in. Schwartzman's game is tailored to clay as he can play the angles and get to most balls, but Federer clearly had a massive advantage on serve.
Schwartzman got just 52 percent of his first serves in and won a mere 45 percent of his first-serve points in the first set. Conversely, Federer won 81 percent of his first-serve points and ripped four aces to boot.
That ultimately led to a 6-3 advantage for Federer in the first set, per Roland Garros on Twitter:
Schwartzman improved significantly on serve in the second set and he gave himself opportunities to put Federer on the ropes. He made only 10 unforced errors to Federer's 17, but Schwartzman's errors came at costly times.
The underdog had multiple chances to hold serve at 4-4 and pull within one game of taking the set, but Federer was able to force a break and hold his own serve to take it 6-4.
Schwartzman continued to fight in the third set, but Federer was able to earn an early break, which put Schwartzman in a tough spot, according to ESPN Tennis:
Although Schwartzman never gave in until the bitter end, he simply didn't have the ammunition to best one of the all-time greats as Federer won the third and final set 6-4 as well.
Federer now has a potentially tough third-round match on the horizon against No. 31-seeded Dmitry Tursunov, who beat American Sam Querrey in the second round. Federer is undefeated in four career matches against Tursunov, including one on clay.
That means Fed will be regarded as a significant favorite, but there is definitely some danger present. Due to Federer's success against Tursunov and difficult opponents on the horizon, it would be very easy for him to look ahead.
Federer will likely have to make his way past both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in order to win his second career French Open title, but he may not even have the opportunity if he loses focus.
Schwartzman proved to be a good opponent for Federer since Fed couldn't afford to rest on his laurels or take any points off. If Federer continues to play like this moving forward, then he has a deep Roland Garros run in him.
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