D. Istomin vs R. Federer | Roland-Garros
Men's Singles | Round 1 | 31.05.2021 | Court Philippe-Chatrier
D. Istomin (Q)
R. Federer (8)
If you are a true tennis fan, then this is a moment you have long been waiting for. It’s the Grand Slam return of the legendary Roger Federer following a lengthy period away through injury. The Swiss Maestro kicks off his RG campaign against qualifier, Denis Istomin. The players are due on Chatrier shortly.
GAME, SET AND MATCH! - FEDERER 6-2 6-4 6-3 ISTOMIN. A poor drop shot from Istomin concludes a one-sided contest as Federer marks his Grand Slam comeback with another break that secures a straight sets victory. The Swiss showed real variety and never looked in danger as he cruised into round two after just one hour and 33 minutes on court.
FEDERER 6-2 6-4 5-3 ISTOMIN. Federer continues to close in on victory. He’s one game away now. Istomin just hasn’t come close to stretching him or applying any sort of pressure on his service.
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FEDERER 6-2 6-4 4-3 ISTOMIN. That is dogged play from Istomin. He has to battle to fend off two break points and gets a tad lucky when Federer is a whisker away from generating a third with a ridiculous hot dog attempt that just misses the baseline.
FEDERER 6-2 6-4 4-2 ISTOMIN. Federer consolidates with a love hold. He really is applying considerable variety to the spins off both flanks. It’s great to watch and difficult for his opponent to get a read on.
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BREAK! - FEDERER 6-2 6-4 3-2 ISTOMIN. There’s his move! Federer steps it up from 0-15 and produces a volleying masterclass to tee up triple break point. Istomin swats away two of them but Federer refuses to be denied and rifles a wonderful crosscourt forehand winner to make the breakthrough.
FEDERER 6-2 6-4 2-2 ISTOMIN. Federer’s radar goes offline for a couple of points at 40-0 but he manages to plug it back in to avoid any hassle and achieve parity.
FEDERER 6-2 6-4 1-2 ISTOMIN. Federer doesn’t seem keen to chase games. Once Istomin gets in front on his service, Fed is picking and choosing when to attack. He backs down on this occasion as the world number 204 eases to a love hold.
FEDERER 6-2 6-4 1-1 ISTOMIN. The man from Uzbekistan does try to engineer something special with a delicious backhand winner down the line to make 30-30 but Federer sweeps away any ideas of a potential break with a pair of rapid points to level.
FEDERER 6-2 6-4 0-1 ISTOMIN. The rapid pace of this match continues as Istomin gets Set 3 up and running with an efficient hold to 30. If he’s going to have any say this evening, he’s going to have to step it up sharp-ish on his return game.
SET! - FEDERER 6-2 6-4 ISTOMIN. Given how frustrated Federer was with his game in Doha and Geneva, this has been highly impressive up to this juncture. He seals a two-set lead with an ace and looks well on course for a place in round two.
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FEDERER 6-2 5-4 ISTOMIN. Denis keeps Roger honest with a hold to 30 that poses the serve-out question to the Swiss.
FEDERER 6-2 5-3 ISTOMIN. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is looking razor sharp on serve. He charges through his own love hold. He’s been superb in most parts of his game, but his serving really has been excellent today.
FEDERER 6-2 4-3 ISTOMIN. Conservation of energy? Federer makes little impression on the return game after an ace sets Istomin on the way to a simple love hold.
FEDERER 6-2 4-2 ISTOMIN. Federer has barely been troubled on serve. He drops the first point here but rattles through the next four to stay on course.
FEDERER 6-2 3-2 ISTOMIN. That’s quite possibly Istomin’s best game of the contest. He allows himself a wry smile as he finally chases down a Federer drop shot to steer an acute pick-up back across the net. He then concludes the game to 15 with a rasping, wrong-footing forehand.
Image credit: Eurosport