Roger Federer produced a vintage display to see off the challenge of veteran Denis Istomin in the first round of the French Open. Federer is playing a Grand Slam match after 487 days. He took just 93 minutes to dispatch Istomin 6-2 6-4 6-3. The 1000 fans in the stadium were treated Roger Federer rolling back the years at the French Open.
Federer broke Istomin in the very first game of the match, setting a precedent early on. The Swiss maestro was serving impeccably making 18 of his 20 first serves in the opening sets. Federer underwent surgery on his knee last season and subsequently returned to his artistic best.
“I’m very happy I won today. It gives me a chance again to test myself on Thursday,” Federer said. “I hope I can stay healthy from now on forward. I’m quite confident that’s going to stay that way. I’ve also been getting better every month that went by, which has been really positive.”
Federer will now face a tougher test in Round 2 against Marin Cilic. Cilic bet Arthur Rinderknech in straight sets in the first round. Federer has beaten Cilic nine times in his career. The most recent meeting between the two was the 2018 Australian Open final. This was ironically also Federer’s last grand slam.
Elsewhere, second seed Daniil Medvedev secured a first win at Roland Garros with a 6-3 7-5 7-5 win against Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik. The 25-year-old Russian ended a run of four consecutive opening-round exits on the Paris clay with victory over Bublik in just under two hours, and following Dominic Thiem’s shock exit on Sunday, there are no Grand Slam champions remaining in his half of the draw.
David Goffin was another name knocked out when he lost to teenager Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets, 6-0 7-5 7-6. The teenager did not show any nerves throughout the match.