Federer sets new Grand Slam record

Federer sets new Grand Slam record

PARIS - The Associated Press
Federer sets new Grand Slam record

Roger Federer. AfP Photo

Roger Federer dropped a set before earning his record-breaking 234th Grand Slam match victory to reach the third round of the French Open.

Federer eliminated Adrian Ungur of Romania 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-3 yesterday to break a tie with Jimmy Connors for most career wins at major tournaments in the Open era, which began in 1968. The 16-time Grand Slam champion is now 234-35 in tennis’ top four tournaments, an .870 winning percentage.

Ungur, meanwhile, is 1-1; the French Open was his Grand Slam debut. Seeded third this year at Roland Garros, where he won the 2009 title, Federer is on course for a semifinal against No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who won in straight sets yesterday.

Djokovic was first up on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and he was barely troubled by Blaz Kavcic, winning 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 for his 23rd straight Grand Slam victory.

In the main stadium at Roland Garros, Azarenka defeated Dinah Pfizenmaier of Germany 6-1, 6-1 - two days after struggling to win her opening match.

If Djokovic wins the French Open title this year, it will be his fourth straight Grand Slam title, and his first at Roland Garros.

Djokovic was broken once by Kavcic, but otherwise had little trouble. He did, however, finish the match with 34 unforced errors, almost twice as many as Kavcic’s 21.

Victoria Azarenka, who took over the women’s No. 1 ranking after winning the Australian Open, easily advanced against Pfizenmaier on Court Philippe Chatrier.

In the first round, Azarenka struggled early before winning 12 of the final 14 games to advance. She committed 60 unforced errors in that opening match, but brought that number down to only 11 yesterday.

Azarenka reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last year, matching her best performance at the clay-court Grand Slam.