French Open 2021: Roger Federer made to work in third-round win over Dominik Koepfer

French Open 2021: Roger Federer made to work in third-round win over Dominik Koepfer



It wasn’t easy, but Roger Federer is through to the fourth round of the French Open after a four-set win over Germany’s Dominik Koepfer on Court Philipe Chatrier.

In a match that finished close to 1 a.m. Paris time Sunday, Federer scored a 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(4) 7-5 victory in front of an empty stadium. The stands were empty due to Paris’ 9 p.m. curfew.

The 3 1/2-hour epic forced Federer to dig deep after he lost the second set and was down 4-2 in the third. The world No. 8-ranked player’s experience on the big stage shone through in the closing stages of the tightly contested match.

There was high drama in the fourth set when Koepfer’s emotions threatened to boil over after a line call went against him.

Locked at 1-1 in the set, the left-handed Koepfer was down 30-40 when he sent a backhand wide to the right. It was called out by the linesperson and confirmed by the chair umpire.

Unhappy at the call, Koepfer walked to Federer’s side of the net and spat on the mark.

The German was deducted a point from his next game for unsportsmanlike conduct and went on to lose the set and the match.

Federer advances to a fourth-round clash with ninth seed Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday. A win over the hard-hitting Berrettini would likely set up a quarterfinal showdown with Novak Djokovic.

Earlier on Saturday, Rafael Nadal was in imperious form in a quick-fire 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Cam Norrie. The Spaniard has now won a remarkable 30 consecutive sets at the French Open and will play rising Italian star Jannik Sinner in the fourth round.

“It’s going to be a tough one,” Nadal said. “He’s young, he’s improving every week, he has big shots.

“I need to be solid. I need to be aggressive too, because if not, it’s difficult. I need to make him play from tough positions, and I can’t make a lot of mistakes.”

In the women’s draw, defending champion Iga Swiatek was broken in the first set against Anett Kontaveit but bounced back to score a 7-6(4), 6-0 victory to advance to the second week.

Swiatek plays Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in the Round of 16.

Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, lost the first set before beating fellow American Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, earning the win after converting her third match point.

Teen sensation Coco Gauff will make her debut appearance in the fourth round at the French Open after Jennifer Brady retired with a foot injury.

Gauff won the first set 6-1 when Brady was forced out. The youngster is now set to play Ons Jabeur in the Round of 16.





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