Federer routs rookie in 2nd round of French Open

May 26, 2011 - 3:14 AM
France Tennis French Open

Switzerland's Roger Federer returns the ball to France's Maxime Teixeira during their second round match of the French Open tennis tournament, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — Roger Federer has been in nearly the exact same position as Maxime Teixeira found himself at the French Open, staring across the net at one of the game's greats.

More than a decade ago, long before the 16 Grand Slam titles and the millions of dollars in earnings, a green-as-could-be Federer stood opposite Andre Agassi at a tournament in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland.

"You know, on the one hand, that you can't win," Federer said shortly after beating Teixeira 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 Wednesday in the second round. "And if you win, it's like a miracle. A crazy miracle."

Novak Djokovic also reached the third round at Roland Garros, advancing after Romanian opponent Victor Hanescu retired with an injury while trailing 6-4, 6-1, 2-3. The win extended his perfect start in 2011 to 39-0 and stretched his overall winning streak to 41.

For the women, 2010 French Open finalists Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur both advanced easily, while top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and third-seeded Vera Zvonareva had more difficult routes to the third round.

On Thursday, five-time champion Rafael Nadal is scheduled to be back on court — two days after being stretched to five sets for the first time in his French Open career. Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova are also set to play.

Federer came into Wednesday's match with a plan against a player with a career record of 1-0 — his first-round victory. And despite an early break, it worked just fine as the third-seeded Swiss won 13 straight games after it was tied 3-3 in the opening set.

"I had to keep my focus to start with, because you never know what might happen and what he does, his abilities, his talent, his skills," the 2009 French Open champion said. "Therefore, during 1½ sets you're really well focused, and after this you can relax a little at the end of the match. And it was a bit simpler as well at the end."

Up next for Federer is a more familiar opponent: 29th-seeded Janko Tipsarevic. The Serb took Federer to five sets in the third round of the 2008 Australian Open, eventually losing 10-8.

"I think he's a dangerous player on the big courts against the big players. He played really well against these players, so let's be careful," Federer said. "Let's be ready in advance, because he can vary his game on hard courts, on clay as well. He can do all sorts of things."

Zvonareva came within one point of being the highest-seeded player to lose so far. The Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up had to save a match point while trailing 5-2 before eventually beating an ailing Sabine Lisicki of Germany 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Lisicki took two medical breaks because of cramping and dizziness.

"I was just trying to think about what I'm going to do next and try to keep my focus on and not pay attention to what was going on on the other side of the net," Zvonareva said. "That's what happens sometimes. It's part of the sport. No matter what, I had to keep doing my job. I kept fighting, and that's all."

When the match ended, Lisicki was overcome with emotion. She lay on the court and sobbed until a medical crew carried her off on a stretcher.

"I started cramping at the end of the second set, and this continued in the third," Lisicki said in a statement released by the WTA. "From 4-2 in the third set, I began to feel dizzy and had problems seeing the ball clearly. At no point did I think of retiring and I kept fighting until the end."