French Open 2019 Results: Roger Federer's Return Win Highlights Sunday's Play

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2019

Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a shot against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday, May 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Michel Euler )
Michel Euler/Associated Press

Roger Federer booked his place in the second round of the 2019 French Open with an emphatic straight-sets win over Lorenzo Sonego at Roland-Garros on Sunday.

Federer, who last won this tournament in 2009 and hasn't appeared on the red clay in Paris for four years, saw off Sonego 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. He will now face German Oscar Otte in the second round.

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

3 years, 11 months and 25 days later… Good to have you back! #RG19 https://t.co/6PNYcrBBo5

Federer won on a day when Kei Nishikori also made it through, courtesy of a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win over Frenchman Quentin Halys. He'll be joined in the next phase of the bracket by Marin Cilic and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who both enjoyed victories in straight sets.

The WTA bracket saw Venus Williams beaten by Elina Svitolina in the marquee match of the day. Svitolina put the pressure on Williams early and maintained it as she ultimately eased through both sets to win 6-3, 6-3.

Last year's beaten finalist Sloane Stephens also progressed after getting past Misaki Doi, while Garbine Muguruza made it through, but fifth seed Angelique Kerber slipped to defeat against Anastasia Potapova.


Sunday ATP Results

  • (3) Roger Federer bt. Lorenzo Sonego: 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
  • (6) Stefanos Tsitsipas bt. Maximilian Marterer: 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (4)
  • (7) Kei Nishikori bt. Quentin Halys: 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
  • (11) Marin Cilic bt. Thomas Fabbiano: 6-3, 7-5, 6-1
  • Nicolas Mahut bt. (16) Marco Cecchinato: 2-6, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
  • (29) Matteo Berrettini bt. Pablo Andujar: 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
  • Hugo Dellien bt. Prajnesh Gunneswaran: 6-1, 6-3, 6-1
  • Grigor Dimitrov bt. Janko Tipsarevic: 6-3, 6-0, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-4
  • Oscar Otte bt. Malek Jaziri: 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-0
  • Alexei Popyrin bt. Ugo Humbert: 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10), 6-3
  • Casper Ruud bt. Ernests Gulbis: 6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-0
  • (27) David Goffin bt. Ricardas Berankis: 6-0, 6-2, 6-2
  • Philipp Kohlschreiber bt. Robin Haase: 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1
  • Diego Schwartzman bt. Marton Fucsovics: 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7) 2-6, 6-2
  • (31) Laslo Djere bt. Albert Ramos-Vinolas: 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(2) 
  • Leonardo Mayer bt. Jiri Vesely: 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-0

Sunday WTA Results

  • Anastasia Potapova bt. (5) Angelique Kerber: 6-4, 6-2
  • (19) Garbine Muguruza bt. Taylor Townsend: 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
  • Kristina Mladenovic bt. Fiona Ferro: 6-3, 7-6 (3)
  • (31) Petra Martic bt. Ons Jabeur: 6-1, 6-2
  • (15) Belinda Bencic bt. Jessika Ponchet: 6-1, 6-4
  • Johanna Larsson bt. Magdalena Rybarikova: 6-3, 6-4
  • Kateryna Kozlova bt. Bernarda Pera: 6-2, 7-6 (5)
  • Laura Siegemund bt. Sofya Zhuk: 6-3, 6-3
  • Marketa Vondrousova bt. Wang Yafan: 6-4, 6-3
  • Kristina Kucova bt. Svetlana Kuznetsova: 6-4, 6-2
  • (2) Karolina Pliskova bt. Madison Brengle: 6-2, 6-3
  • (9) Elina Svitolina bt. Venus Williams: 6-3, 6-3
  • (7) Sloane Stephens bt. Misaki Doi: 6-3, 7-6(4)
  • Polona Hercog vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich: 4-6, 6-2, 3-3 Play Suspended
  • Jennifer Brady vs. Ivana Jorovic: 7-6(5), 4-6 Play Suspended
  • Sara Sorribes Tormo bt. Alison Van Uytvanck: 6-1, 5-7, 6-2


Federer set a frantic pace early as he appeared determined to make quick work of Sonego. The rapid approach worked a treat during an opening set when Sonego was overwhelmed:

BBC Tennis @bbctennis

Just 24 minutes needed for Roger Federer to take the first set against Lorenzo Sonego. Live: https://t.co/xxBF8ROyyE https://t.co/Ys2mK2WZ7v

It wasn't all plain sailing for Federer the rest of the way. The 37-year-old wasn't error-free:

ATP Tour @ATP_Tour

Watch out, Rog! 😅 @rogerfederer | #RG19 🎥: @Eurosport_UK https://t.co/I450cFApx9

However, one area where Federer excelled was on serve. His power kept Sonego cowed, while his own defences protected serve as the Italian sought vital break points.

In the end, the crucial breaks eluded Sonego, and Federer kept a tight grip on both the second and third sets.

ATP Media Info @ATPMediaInfo

In his 1st @RolandGarros appearance since 2015, [3] @RogerFederer d. #Sonego 62 64 64 in 1h, 41m and won his 13th straight 1R #RolandGarros. #Federer hit 36 winners (15 unf. errors), converted 5 of 11 break pts. and saved 3 of 4 BPs. Next: [LL] @OscarOtte.

This was a cool and measured performance and an ominous warning to second-round opponent Otte.

Cilic poured it on against Fabbiano, hammering his opponent with a powerful serve. When it was Fabbiano's turn to serve he found Cilic ready and able to manufacture more than a few tricky returns.

With both sides of his game strong, Cilic survived a lengthy second set before looking more comfortable in the third.

ATP Media Info @ATPMediaInfo

[11] @cilic_marin, who has reached the QFs @rolandgarros the last 2 years, opened with a 63 75 61 win over Fabbiano. #Cilic hit 13 aces and converted 8 of 20 break pts. while saving 5 of 8 BPs.

Nishikori also had too much range in his game for Halys. The former powered his way through the opening set before being made to work a little harder in the second.

Ultimately, Nishikori maintained a terrific winning run during this calendar year on the strength of his ability to break serve.

ATP Media Info @ATPMediaInfo

[7] @keinishikori improved to 8-1 in 1R matches @rolandgarros with a 62 63 64 victory over [WC] Halys. #Nishikori converted 8 of 19 break pts. en route to his 20th win of the season (20-9).

Tsitsipas was hardly troubled through two sets against Maximilian Marterer. Things changed in the third as the latter battled for survival.

Marterer took things to a tiebreak, but sixth seed Tsitsipas held his nerve to ensure safe passage through.

Marco Cecchinato was in the last four in 2018, but the Italian is out after blowing a two-set lead against Nicolas Mahut. The latter has reversed his fortunes and made a habit of winning when a fifth set is needed:

ATP Media Info @ATPMediaInfo

[WC] @nmahut rallies past last year's @RolandGarros semi-finalist [16] #Cecchinato 26 67(6) 64 62 64 to earn his 1st Top 20 win (1-5) in 17th #RolandGarros main draw. Since starting career 1-4 in 5-set matches, #Mahut is 5-4 in 5-setters, winning his last 3.

Grigor Dimitrov nearly suffered the same fate as Cecchinato, but the Bulgarian eventually reasserted himself after seeing Janko Tipsarevic even rally to even things at two sets apiece.


Svitolina went in front early and never relinquished control against Williams. The latter couldn't hold serve at key moments:

José Morgado @josemorgado

Venus very erratic so far. Svitolina breaks Vee four times (got broken twice) and takes the 1st set 6-3.

Things stayed the same during the second set, with Svitolina making the points in clutch situations. Her efforts earned her three match points, with the 24-year-old eventually seeing off her decorated veteran opponent.

Muguruza is also through but only after being pushed further by Taylor Townsend than Svitolina was by Williams. A close-fought opening set went Townsend's way, with the 23-year-old producing some spectacular shots.

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Taylor Townsend had a big smile on her face as she ran down a Muguruza dropshot, knowing she could flick it back for a winner (and she did). Muguruza looking just a bit more stressed at the moment.

However, Muguruza soon reasserted herself, and the 2016 winner was near-flawless as she wrapped up the next two sets with 6-2 scorelines.

Stephens showcased some of last year's form as she cruised through the opening set. The balance of play tipped toward Doi in the second, with a tiebreak needed before Stephens confirmed his place in the next round.

Roland-Garros @rolandgarros

Super Start 💯 Last year's finalist @SloaneStephens roars her way into the second round taking the first career meeting between her and Misaki Doi 6-3 7-6(4). #RG19 https://t.co/SweAwXW5Er

Kerber won't be joining her after she fell was stunned early by Potapova, who edged a tense first set. The pressure eased in the second as Kerber became increasingly error-prone before slipping to a 6-2 defeat.

There was better news for second seed Karolina Pliskova, who went through the gears to beat Madison Brengle. Petra Martic also impressed when she began the day by dispatching Ons Jabeur after dropping just three games in two sets.

Monday will see top seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in action on Philippe-Chatrier court, while Kiki Bertens and Ashleigh Barty get their campaigns underway.