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Federer’s stunning warning to rivals


Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Roger Federer served notice of the danger he could pose at the French Open this year with a terrific performance to beat 29th seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 6-4 6-3 in the third round.

With Novak Djokovic taking over the fight for world number one with Rafael Nadal, Federer has found himself playing third wheel at the top of the men's game this season.

But, if his form against Tipsarevic is anything to go by, then being out of the limelight has certainly not done the 29-year-old any harm.

Many pundits predicted a tough test for the Swiss yesterday but Federer was having none of it and promptly blazed his way through the first set in 19 minutes.

Although he could not quite maintain that standard, the third seed was never in any trouble, with his serve proving particularly effective.

Federer feels he is in a better place than he was 12 months ago, when he lost in the quarter-finals to Robin Soderling, and he has not had anything approaching a test thus far.

He said: “I'm at peace with my game right now. Physically I feel better. My body is in better shape. I've had more practice, more matches, because between Australia and Roland Garros last year I didn't play much, and when I played it was a bit difficult.

“It's still early in the tournament but at the same time it's really nice to be moving in the draw so well and so quickly.”

Tipsarevic was disappointed he allowed Federer to make such a good start but was left in awe of the accuracy of the world number three's serving.

He said: “I was honestly expecting more from myself today but he was just too good. Where I made a mistake was that I gave him the first break of my serve as a present.”

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro were tied at one-set all when play was suspended in their intriguing third-round clash.

Djokovic looked to be making serene progress towards extending his winning streak to 42 matches when he took the first set 6-3.

But the 2009 semi-finalist's standard improved in the second set and after an early break he held his nerve to level.

Meanwhile, the women's draw was blown wide open with defeats for world number one Caroline Wozniacki and last year's runner-up Samantha Stosur.

After Kim Clijsters' exit on Thursday, Wozniacki's 6-1 6-3 thrashing by Daniela Hantuchova means it is the first time since 1971 that the top two seeds at Roland Garros have gone out before the fourth round in the women's singles.

Asked about the continued focus on the fact she has not won a grand slam, Wozniacki said: “It really doesn't matter. I know what I'm capable of and I know I'm a great player. I'm doing well. I'm happy about my schedule and I'm feeling fine.”

Stosur looked to have turned things round after a dreadful start against Gisela Dulko but from a break up in the decider she fell apart and the Argentinian clinched a 6-4 1-6 6-3 victory.

Belfast Telegraph