Roger Federer walked onto Court Suzanne Lenglen, smiled when greeted with applause and looked up into the stands, where three youngsters waved a banner that read, “Roger 4 Ever.”
Forever? Probably not, but Federer easily outlasted qualifier Somdev Devvarman in the second round of the French Open, winning 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 Wednesday.
Top-ranked Serena Williams also showed staying power, extending her career-best winning streak to 26 matches by beating wild card Caroline Garcia of France, 6-1, 6-2.
While Williams looks unbeatable of late, Federer has yet to win a tournament this year, the first time he has arrived at Roland Garros without a title since 2000. But he’s rested and healthy, and his vast repertoire of shots was on full display against the overmatched Devvarman, who is ranked 188th.
“I tried to finish the match quite quickly, because I was afraid it would rain,” Federer said. “So I was very focused, and I’m very happy for that.”
The No. 1-ranked Williams seeks her first French Open title since 2002. She last reached the semifinals in 2003.
Since losing in the first round a year ago at Roland Garros, Williams is 69-3, including titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the London Olympics and the season-ending WTA Championships.
While Williams and Federer savored their latest successes, Jamie Hampton earned her first career French Open victory, an upset of No. 25 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (5), 3-6, 9-7. With her win, American women finished the first round 10-5.
Also part of the resurgence in U.S. fortunes was No. 29 Varvara Lepchenko, who reached the third round by whacking 22 forehand winners to defeat Elina Svitolina 7-6 (5), 6-1. Three Americans did stumble in the second round — Madison Keys, ex-Stanford standout Mallory Burdette and Shelby Rogers.