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ROLAND GARROS

Federer Joins 700 Match Wins Club

Paris, France

Roger Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer is three wins into his Roland Garros title defence.

World No. 1 Roger Federer became the 10th player in the Open Era to record at least 700 tour-level match wins when he advanced to the Roland Garros fourth round with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 win over German qualifier Julian Reister Friday in Paris.

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The Swiss, who has won 62 tour-level titles – including a record 16 Grand Slam championships - trails Boris Becker, in ninth position, by just 13 more wins. American Jimmy Connors holds the Open Era record with 1242 victories, taking in eight major titles.

The defending Roland Garros champion was tested for the first eight games against the No. 165-ranked Reister, before breaking through with two straight games to take the first set. From there, Reister was able to offer little resistance, only winning a further four games as Federer raced to victory in 93 minutes. Federer struck 34 winners, compared to just 10 from Reister, and did not face a break point.

Top 10 Open Era Match Wins Leaders

 

Player
No.
Grand Slam Titles
1. Jimmy Connors 1242 8
2. Ivan Lendl 1071 8
3. Guillermo Vilas 923 4
4. John McEnroe 875 7
5. Andre Agassi 870 8
6. Stefan Edberg 806 6
7. Pete Sampras 762 14
8. Ilie Nastase 755 2
9. Boris Becker 713 6
10. Roger Federer 700 16

Victory marked Federer’s 150th clay-court victory, a tally that has seen him win nine clay-court titles, including completing the career Grand Slam by lifting the trophy at Roland Garros for the first time last year (d. Soderling).

"From a ranking standpoint, I haven't played top guys yet,” said Federer, assessing his form. “But [I've played] dangerous players, who are skillful on this surface and a guy who just won five matches here in Paris, so you can never underestimate those kind of players. With my own form I'm very happy. I'm ready to mix up my game playing aggressively. I'm being broken very few times and that's obviously always a good thing looking ahead."

Federer next will face Stanislas Wawrinka, with whom he won an Olympic gold medal in doubles two years ago. The No. 20-seeded Wawrinka broke serve six times and hit 44 winners as he defeated Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 52 minutes. Federer takes a 4-1 lead into the clash, although Wawrinka’s lone victory did come on clay last year in Monte-Carlo.

"I've never played against him during a Grand Slam, so that's a bit of a difference,” said Federer. “He's really fit, and we have the same physical trainer. We know what we do. We've practised quite often together. We know it's going to be a tough match, so I'm very happy about this challenge, because he's a great player. I'll have to play great tennis, also."

In remaining second-round action, seventh seed Fernando Verdasco overcame a third set blip to defeat Frenchman Florent Serra 6-2, 6-2, 0-6, 6-4. In a match featuring 12 service breaks, Verdasco capitalised on seven of 18 opportunities and struck nearly three times as many winners as he did unforced errors (36-13) to wrap up victory in two hours and 15 minutes.

The 26-year-old Verdasco came into Roland Garros playing arguably the best tennis of his life and is looking to advance past the fourth round in Paris for the first time. The Spaniard reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal), captured his fifth ATP World Tour title in Barcelona (d. Soderling) and last week finished runner-up to Richard Gasquet in his 13th ATP World Tour final in Nice.

The left-hander next will face German No. 30 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who accounted for Italian Andreas Seppi 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5 to reach the third round for the second year in a row. Last year at that stage he stunned Novak Djokovic, before losing out to Tommy Robredo.

Former champion Juan Carlos Ferrero came through a testing all-Spanish encounter with Pere Riba to prevail 7-6(5), 6-7(13), 6-2, 6-2. The No. 16 seed, who lifted the Roland Garros trophy in 2003, next will face American Robby Ginepri, who also dropped one set in advancing past Italy’s Potito Starace 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

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