Roger Federer brushes Casper Ruud aside in straight sets to become the oldest man to reach the fourth round of French Open since 1972
- Roger Federer strengthened his bid for a French Open title with a win on Friday
- The Swiss won Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 and reached the fourth round in Paris
- The victory saw him become the oldest since 1972 to reach a Roland Garros last 16
Roger Federer sent an opponent 17 years younger and became the oldest man to reach the fourth round of the French Open since 1972.
The 37-year-old Swiss won 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 against the 20-year-old Casper Ruud, whose father Christian was in the final here when Federer made his debut in 1999.
Federer seems to be playing with total freedom, back in Paris after three years away and enjoying his unknown position as a dark horse for this title.
Roger Federer relaxed in the fourth round of the French Open with a 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 win on Friday
The 37-year-old Swiss is now the oldest man in the fourth round at Roland Garros since 1972
Suzanne Lenglen's court was packed for a Federer-Ruud competition and they were not disappointed
Ruud, the world no. 63, looks like a promising clay courier and he dug impressively in the third set, when he had a fixed point in the tiebreak. But he is like many modern players because he is actually looking for a slug away from the baseline until he or his opponent misses.
Federer jerked him out of his comfort zone in the first two sets, ran to the net and cut the ball past Rudd & # 39; s laces with that knitted backhand.
Federer missed this tournament badly. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are a great sight on these courses, but the sight of those who grind inferior opponents – mainly from the baseline – can be a bit thin.
Ruud was impressive this season and clenched his fist after dug himself in late in the game
Federer's experience was significant and he put pressure on Ruud to cut and fray the net
Tennis needs variety and watching Federer make his way through a match on his worst surface is a joy the Parisians have missed. And not just the locals; every seat in Suzanne Lenglen's press box was made with journalists sitting on the stairs and standing in the corridor to continue.
Ruud scraped his way to three holds early but Federer found some joy by briefly chopping his return, forcing the young person to move forward in the uncomfortable territory around the net. One of those returns sets in motion a glorious half-salas back-end to break 4-3.
Federer gave a breakpoint in the net game after a few loose forehand but – as he always seems to do – he found a solid first served when he needed it.
In the second set, he was in full swing and batted 17 winners, including a jumping back-hand volleyball that had no 37-year-old right to leave.
In the third set, Ruud found his range ahead and could play the game much more on his own terms. He led 2-0 but was immediately replaced, and when the set wore it was the Norwegian who had half the chance to win the set, but Federer's servant came to the rescue when he needed him.
The Norwegian star Ruud wanted to take control and set the pace, but struggled to find the lines
Federer has been missed in these parts of Paris and is determined to win the title
Federer had the game on his racket at 6-4 in the tiebreak, but he shoved a forehand and then Ruud saved a second match point on his server.
On 6-7, Federer saved a setpoint with a service and volley and after a Ruud double fault gave him a fourth match point, he closed the 10-8 with an overhead smash.
The Swiss is in the fourth round with a minimum of effort and that should come in handy when he tries to set a course for that immobile object that probably awaits him in the semi-final: Rafael Nadal.
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