Wins for Federer and Djokovic
A review of the men's singles action at the French Open, including wins for Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer showed the tennis world has not completely spun off its axis by moving smoothly into the third round of the French Open.
After Australian Open champions Stan Wawrinka and Li Na made unwanted history by falling in the first round, the biggest shock of the lot arrived on Wednesday afternoon when Serena Williams crashed out.
Federer followed Williams onto Court Suzanne Lenglen, and he did not have things all his own way against qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman but was comfortable enough in a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory.
Federer admitted afterwards he had not felt able to play freely, but attributed that to an unknown opponent rather than any lingering tension from all the upsets.
He said: "It was kind of tough all the way through. I didn't feel relaxed for the entire match. I always felt he had a little bit of an upper hand from the baseline."
Djokovic had the upper hand in every area of his match against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy as he eased to a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory.
Both men could sympathise with Wawrinka who, after losing to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Monday, admitted he was finding it difficult adjusting to everything that comes with being a grand slam champion.
Djokovic won his first grand slam title at the Australian Open in 2008 but did not win another for three years.
Wawrinka said after his defeat he appreciated the consistent excellence from Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal even more after getting a taste of their world.
Djokovic said: "I can say from my side I always have high ambitions for myself in terms of results and in terms of goals.
"But with that there is a lot of responsibility, a lot of hard work, a lot of understanding on and off the court, what you need to do and what you need to become in order to have the chance to be successful.
"So I understand what Wawrinka is going through. When I won my first grand slam in 2008, I know how that period went after that. It's the first time that you have to encounter pressure or expectations of being a favourite at grand slams.
"I think it's a new experience, and it's something that is going to be with him for the rest of his career, because he's a grand slam winner now, so he's going to be favourite in most of the events where he plays."
Federer is confident his friend and countryman will find the answers to the puzzle he is trying to piece together.
He said of Wawrinka's difficulties: "It's totally normal.
"I have never really understood how Rafa, Novak, and myself, we can play at such a level all the time. For me, that was a shock to see all of us so consistent like this.
"With Stan, I understand where he is, because I was in such a position at a moment in my career, and it's not even the pressure itself. I think it's how you look at yourself and at your game.
"Without changing everything, this is what he's got to work on and solve this. Little by little. It will not happen overnight.
"But with Australia, with (the Masters title in) Monaco, it's in his pocket already. Nobody can take this from him. It will give him time to work on this. I trust that he will find the right solutions in the months to come."
Djokovic faces a potentially tricky match next against 25th seed Marin Cilic, who beat Tobias Kamke in four sets, while Federer meets 31st seed Dmitry Tursunov.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych had to fight back from a set down on his way to a 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 7-5 6-3 victory over Kazakh Aleksandr Nedovyesov and will play in-form Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
French number one Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated Federer in the quarter-finals last year, has had a miserable season so far but was on good form in a straight-sets win over Jurgen Melzer.
There were also wins for eighth seed Milos Raonic, Gilles Simon, Tommy Robredo, Jerzy Janowicz and Ernests Gulbis but Mikhail Youzhny and Alexandr Dolgopolov are out.
On Thursday, the match of the day sees Nadal back on Philippe Chatrier against 20-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem, who defeated Wawrinka in Madrid earlier this month.