Now things could get a little more interesting for Roger Federer.
After a pair of straightforward and straight-set victories at the French Open against qualifiers ranked outside the top 150, the 17-time major champion will face a seeded player, France’s Julien Benneteau, who not only already beat Federer once this year but also came within two points of upsetting him at Wimbledon, of all places, in 2012.
“I think I’m playing OK,” Federer said in something of an understatement, considering he’s dropped 11 games through six sets so far. “Definitely think the next match is going to be sort of the big test for me, to see exactly where I stand.”
There wasn’t much trouble for Federer in the second round Wednesday, when he beat two-time NCAA singles champion Somdev Devvarman 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in less than 1½ hours.
It really was something of a laugher, especially with Federer serving at 4-0 in the final set. He hit a first serve well out, and both players waited for the linesman to make a call — which he finally did, albeit after a long delay. Federer and Devvarman chuckled, looked at each other, and chuckled some more. As Federer prepared to hit his second serve, he needed to pause because he couldn’t regain his composure.
Otherwise, little bothered Federer.
“You obviously know he’s capable of doing certain things, and you try and make life as tough for him as possible,” said Devvarman, who played college tennis at Virginia. “In my case today, I didn’t execute. And sometimes even when I did, I feel like he came up with the better shot.”
Federer accumulated a 54-12 edge in winners, in part by moving forward to the net on 30 points.
Another past French Open champion, Serena Williams, has been challenged about as much as Federer has.
Williams extended her career-high winning streak to 26 matches by defeating French wild-card entry Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-2 Wednesday. A year after the only first-round Grand Slam exit of her career came in Paris, the American has lost four games in two matches.
Other women’s winners included two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and 2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova — who both finally got to play their rain-postponed first-round matches — along with 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic and 2012 runner-up Sara Errani, who reached the third round.
No seeded men lost Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, Williams and her sister Venus pulled out of the doubles tournament without playing a match. No reason was given by the tournament.
O Roger Federer prevails in straight sets to move into third place for most wins at the French Open.
• No. 1-ranked Serena Williams extends her winning streak to 26.
O Thursday, 3 a.m.
Friday, 3 a.m.
TV • ESPN2