May 18, 2013
Federer equals record with win, Azarenka has close shave
Federer beat German Tobias Kamke 6-2 7-5 6-3 in the first round of the French Open and can surpass American Connors's professional-era record by continuing his progress here.
Women's world number one Victoria Azarenka was lucky to advance after being five points away from defeat against Italian Alberta Brianti in their first-round match, but turned the tables to scrape through 6-7 6-4 6-2.
Federer, the 2009 champion at Roland Garros and runner-up four times to Rafa Nadal, hit some wayward shots against the 78th-ranked Kamke but was happy to get through in straight sets.
"They are never easy, those first rounds," the Swiss world number three told a news conference. "I missed a few too many shots but I was in the lead so I could afford to do those."
Asked about matching Connors's record, Federer said he had not been aware of it before the match.
"But I'm very happy, because Jimmy Connors was a huge champion, still is, so it's a great pleasure," he added.
"That (record) is a big one, because (it means) longevity. I have been so successful for such a long time and to already tie that record, (at) 30 years old is pretty incredible, so I'm very happy."
Federer will now meet Romania's Adrian Ungur who beat David Nalbandian 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5.