Roger Federer found another level to battle past Marin Cilic on Court Philippe Chatrier on Thursday, prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 to book a spot into the third round at Roland Garros.
The oldest player in the draw at 39 years old, Federer was sidelined for much of 2020 after undergoing two knee surgeries.
But he’s playing his way into form at Roland Garros, his third tournament of the season after taking down Denis Istomin in the first round.
Fiery Fed mode activated 🤭
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 3, 2021
Federer improved to 10-1 in his ATP Head2Head record against Cilic in their sixth meeting at a Grand Slam, which includes the 2018 Australian Open final and 2017 Wimbledon final, both won by Federer.
Their battle on Chatrier also marked the fourth different Grand Slam meeting for Federer and Cilic.
Playing only his third tournament this year, and still getting his head around the pandemic-related protocols, Federer picked up a time violation warning in the second set. While returning, Federer failed to play to the server’s rhythm.
In a rare occurrence, Federer was seen carrying on a long argument with chair umpire for handing him the warning.
“I listened when you were speaking to me, now listen to me when I’m speaking to you,” Federer said.
“I’m sorry, but that makes no sense, I don’t understand. You didn’t tell me. You said you thought I was slow, but you thought wrong.
“Just talk to me, tell me, ‘hey Roger, I think you’re being too slow’. Do you think I’m being that slow? Please start thinking before reacting.”
Barty forced out
2019 champion Ash Barty was forced out of French Open due to a hip injury on Thursday.
The Australian retired during her second round clash against Magda Linette of Poland while trailing 6-1, 2-2.
“It’s disappointing to end like this,” said Barty, who had come to Roland Garros with a tour-leading 28 match wins this season.
“I’ve had my fair share of tears this week. It’s all good, everything happens for a reason. There will be a silver lining in this eventually.
“Once I find out what that is, it’ll make me feel a little bit better, but it will be there, I’m sure.”
Novak Djokovic beat clay-court specialist Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the third round of the French Open for 16th straight year.
Djokovic hit 31 winners to claim victory in two hours and nine minutes.
The World No. 1 will next play Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, who beat James Duckworth of Australia 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-0.