Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Federer v Ascione as it happened

French Open Second round result:

R FEDERER Swi v T ASCIONE Fr

6-1 6-2 7-6 (10-8)

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES:

By Mark Orlovac

Third set

Federer 6-1 6-2 7-6 (10-8) Ascione Finally it is over, but what a tie-break. Ascione double faults to give Federer three match points but Ascione saves them all with some stunning play. Unbelievable. Federer saves two set points before claiming the win on his sixth match point as Ascione fires into the net. Federer looks relieved it is all over, Ascione is given a standing ovation. Sums it up really.

Federer 6-1 6-2 6-6 Ascione Federer is definitely not as sharp as he was earlier. Maybe the Paris gloom is affecting him – it is past nine o’clock there after all and that date has probably left the restaurant by now. He does hold though and we are now in tie-break time.

Federer 6-1 6-2 5-6 Ascione This was not supposed to happen. Ascione saves two break points and then holds. Over the last few games he has improved dramatically. Rog does not look happy.

Federer 6-1 6-2 5-5 Ascione Brilliant stuff from Ascione, who is putting up resistance right until the end. He saves two match points and then gets a break point of his own with a forehand winner. Federer goes long and incredibly we are back on serve in this set. I bet he wishes he could have started like this.

Federer 6-1 6-2 5-4 Ascione He is being outclassed but Ascione continues to battle like a terrier. The world number 168 holds serve to love for the second time this set.

Federer 6-1 6-2 5-3 Ascione Again errors slip into Federer’s game, the worst one coming when he puts a volley out with the court at his mercy. The clay is getting slow with all that rain. That mistake gives Ascione a break point, which livens up the quiet crowd, but Federer battles back to hold. Ascione will now serve to stay in the match.

Federer 6-1 6-2 4-3 Ascione There are a few mistakes from Federer – it has been a long day – and even though he is way ahead, he still shows his frustration. Ascione saves one break point with a blistering winner and holds serve.

Federer 6-1 6-2 4-2 Ascione As the rain starts to fall again, Federer holds. Ascione is a beaten man, and we are close to the end now.

Federer 6-1 6-2 3-2 Ascione Despite the scoreline, Ascione is refusing to lie down and manages to hold his serve to love.

Federer 6-1 6-2 3-1 Ascione The Swiss star has no trouble in holding and is winging his way to victory.

Federer 6-1 6-2 2-1 Ascione Federer gets a third break point with an incredible backhand down the line which he digs out from a near impossible position in the corner. He raises his hand as he milks the applause, it has to be shot of the tournament so far. He quickly gets the break.

Federer 6-1 6-2 1-1 Ascione Federer holds easily but the point Ascione does get is pretty special – a thundering service return winner. Not many people do that.

Federer 6-1 6-2 0-1 Ascione Good stuff from Ascione as a well-placed volley gives him the lead in a set for the first time. Can’t see it lasting though.

Second set

Federer 6-1 6-2 Ascione Again there are glimpses from Ascione but Federer has just too much in his locker. Federer holds and claims the second set with a total of just three unforced errors. The third set is surely just a formality.

Federer 6-1 5-2 Ascione There seems to be a bit more confidence in Ascione’s play and a superb forehand winner down the line seals a love hold. Ascione is showing some real character here.

Federer 6-1 5-1 Ascione Federer gets a bit sloppy all of a sudden and Ascione has two break points. The Frenchman spurns both though and Federer holds.

Federer 6-1 4-1 Ascione Fair play to Ascione, there is no lack of effort and fight. He gets on the scoreboard for the first time in the second set with a fine hold.

Federer 6-1 4-0 Ascione With little resistance from Ascione, Federer holds, and we are just 12 minutes into this set.

Federer 6-1 3-0 Ascione Ascione puts two volleys into the net and quick as you like, Federer has two break points. Federer breaks again thanks to a bullet of a forehand. Brilliant.

Federer 6-1 2-0 Ascione At least Federer has to work a bit for this hold. Ascione enjoys a nice moment when he passes Federer with a fine winner, makes no difference though.

Federer 6-1 1-0 Ascione Ascione can’t be enjoying this but there is not a lot he can do. Even a Federer miss-hit bounces in, Ascione fires the ball into the net and the Swiss breaks again.

First set

Federer 6-1 Ascione Normal service is resumed. Federer displays some of his vast armoury of shots as again he holds easily. A perfect drop shot gives him set point which he wraps up with an ace. That’s taken just 22 minutes. I reckon he could win things this lad.

Federer 5-1 Ascione A nice moment for the Frenchman as he holds to love. Federer is human after all and does not help himself with a some wild service returns.

Federer 5-0 Ascione I think Federer has an important date tonight. He is focused and looks determined to get this over with as soon as possible, another simple hold.

Federer 4-0 Ascione Oh dear, this is not looking good for Ascione. He is trying, maybe a bit too hard, and as a shot goes long Federer celebrates another break. The umbrellas go up, there is some slight drizzle, but the players are not going anywhere.

Federer 3-0 Ascione On his own serve, Federer is completely dominant and it is all Ascione can do just to get close to the stinging deliveries coming over the net. Ascione does at least claim a point in this game.

Federer 2-0 Ascione What a strange game. Federer quickly claims a run of break points but they are all saved. The Swiss star then earns another after a blistering backhand winner and the game is won when Ascione fires into the net. The first break after nine minutes, this might not take long.

Federer 1-0 Ascione Federer looks in total control as he holds his first service game to love. It’s easy this tennis lark isn’t it?

1820: The players are out and warming up. We are a little bit late getting started after the hour’s rain delay.

1819 Here we go again. Federer returns to action a day after finally completing his first round match against American Michael Russell.

This time up it is French wildcard Thierry Ascione, who defeated Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-2 6-2 6-1 to reach the second round of the singles at Roland Garros for the first time.

Ascione, ranked 168 in the world, is seven months older than Federer and has won only one match on the tour this year. A second win today would be some feat.

The pair have met once before, back in 2003, with Federer winning 7-6 6-1.

Story from BBC SPORT:

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