Federer cruises into French Open second round


Paris: Roger Federer cruised into the French Open second round Sunday before having to quickly sidestep a spectator who breached tight security to race towards the Swiss legend on the showpiece Philippe Chatrier Court.

Federer, the 2009 champion and seeded two this year, began his 62nd consective Grand Slam with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Colombian `lucky loser` Alejandro Falla.

It was Federer`s eighth win in eight matches against Falla and he goes on to face either Spain`s Marcel Granollers or Mathias Bachinger of Germany for a place in the last 32.

He fired 43 winners in his 1hr 50min stroll and looked more concerned when a fan sprinted from the stands and past muscular security guards in an effort to grab a `selfie` with the 17-time major winner.

Although the 33-year-old Federer was not harmed and the fan was prevented from reaching his target, the incident will lead to more questions over security at the event which has endured similar court invasions in the past.

Federer, one of a record 39 men over 30 in the first round, is desperate to make the most of a kind draw which dumped top seed Novak Djokovic, nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and third seed Andy Murray all in the opposite half.

As a result, he can only face one of his main rivals for the title in the June 7 final and not before.

Federer`s Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka, the eighth seed, took just 96 minutes to make the second round, seeing off Turkey`s Marsel Ilhan 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Wawrinka, who made the last-eight in 2013, goes on to face either Serbia`s Dusan Lajovic or Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina in the next round.

Romania`s Simona Halep, the 2014 runner-up and third seed, saw off Russian world number 91 Evgeniya Rodina 7-5, 6-4 and next faces Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, the Croatian player who knocked her out of the US Open last year.

“It`s not easy to start a new tournament but I am happy to be back in Paris where I have so many great memories from last year,” said the 23-year-old Halep who was broken three times and committed 26 unforced errors.