PARIS, May 26: Roger Federer marked his return to Roland Garros after a four-year absence with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego on Sunday and said he had “missed playing in Paris so much”.
Federer, the 2009 champion in Paris, will face German lucky loser Oscar Otte for a place in the third round.
The 20-time major winner hadn’t played the tournament since 2015 when he reached the quarter-finals.
However, on Sunday, it was as if the 37-year-old had never been away as he swept to victory in one hour 41 minutes on a rebuilt and packed Court Philippe Chatrier.
It was his 60th successive first round win at a Grand Slam.
“I missed it so much so thanks for the welcome,” said Federer.
“I felt great playing on this court. It looks great and attractive, so congratulations to everyone involved.
“Hopefully I can play here again for my next match.”
Russian teen Potapova ends Kerber Grand Slam bid
German fifth seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber saw her hopes of a career Grand Slam ended by Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova at Roland Garros on Sunday as Roger Federer prepared to make his Paris return after a four-year absence.
Fifth-seeded Wimbledon champion Kerber slumped to a 6-4, 6-2 defeat to 18-year-old Potapova who was making her French Open debut.
“I had a lot of confidence and I have to thank my coach for that,” said 81st-ranked Potapova who hit 28 winners past her German opponent. (AFP)