Djokovic, Federer march on in France

Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return to Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic during their Men's Singles second...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic hits a return to Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic during their Men's Singles second Round tennis match of the French Open. (Pascal Guyot/AFP)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 3:19 PM ET

PARIS, FRANCE - World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and former champion Roger Federer were a pair of second-round winners Wednesday at the French Open.

The reigning Australian Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic rolled past Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 on Court Lenglen to post his 23rd straight Grand Slam match victory.

Djokovic was broken only once by Kavcic and had little trouble on Day 4. He did, however, pile up 34 unforced errors.

"He was defending really well in the second and third set, especially in the second," Djokovic said. "He wasn't missing as many balls as in the first set.

"I gave him the opportunity to come back to the match after a perfect first set, first seven games," Djokovic added. "But, look, this is tennis."

Djokovic lost to Federer in last year's French semis, which prevented the Serb from reaching his first-ever French Open final and ended a 45-match overall winning streak.

The five-time major champion Djokovic and Federer could meet in the semis here again next week.

Up next for Djokovic will be Frenchman Nicolas Devilder.

The third-seeded Federer needed four sets to get past 92nd-ranked Romanian Adrian Ungur, making his Grand Slam debut this week, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 on Court Chatrier on the famed red clay at Roland Garros. In the process, the Swiss great became the new all-time leader in Grand Slam match wins with 234. He tied the old mark of 233 set by Jimmy Connors with a victory here on Monday.

The 16-time major champion Federer titled here in 2009 to complete a career Grand Slam and is a four-time French Open runner-up to Rafael Nadal, including last year.

Federer will next face France's Nicolas Mahut.

Seventh-seeded formidable Czech and former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych blitzed French lefthander Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, while ninth-seeded former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro reached the third round with a 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Berdych will meet South African Kevin Anderson in the third round, while the tall Argentine del Potro will encounter Croat Marin Cilic.

In an unexpected five-setter, 11th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon outlasted American comeback kid Brian Baker 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (4-7), 1-6, 6-0, as Baker simply ran out of gas in his first-ever five-set match.

The Nashville, Tenn. native Baker, who was out of tennis for six years because of a bevy of injuries and surgeries, including a reconstructed elbow, was a shocking first-time ATP finalist in Nice last week.

Fourteenth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco came from behind to beat fellow lefthander Gilles Muller 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, while 18th-seeded Swiss slugger Stan Wawrinka dismissed Spain's Pablo Andujar 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-1.

Former world No. 1 and former French Open champ Juan Carlos Ferrero exited the draw when a 21st-seeded Cilic doused the Spaniard in 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-3 fashion, while capable 22nd-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi outlasted Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.

In other second-round play, a 31st-seeded Anderson topped Argentine Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0; Devilder handled German Michael Berrer 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2; Mahut overcame Slovak Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; and Poland's Lukasz Kubot topped Frenchman Florent Serra 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

Fifth-seeded French favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was tied with German Cedrik- Marcel Stebe 6-2, 4-6, 1-1 when play was suspended because of rain on Wednesday.

The second round is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, including matches for a second-seeded Nadal and fourth-seeded Andy Murray. The former No. 1 Nadal will face Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, while the three-time major runner-up Murray will take on Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen.

Nadal is 46-1 lifetime at Roland Garros, including an Open-Era-record-tying six titles. He's currently the reigning two-time champ, including a victory over his great rival Federer in last year's finale.

The 10-time major champion Nadal lost to Djokovic in the last three Grand Slam finals.

Several other seeds will see action on Day 5, including No. 6 Spaniard David Ferrer, No. 8 Serb Janko Tipsarevic, No. 10 American John Isner, and No. 12 Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who titled on clay in Nice last week. The 6-foot-10 Isner will battle oft-injured Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, while Almagro will be opposed by former Aussie Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.


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