It sure is. For the first two sets, he marked the occasion by offering us a fine vintage, first working out how to draw Ruud in with his short, sliced returns before uncorking a lovely cushioned backhand half-volley pass down-the-line for the key break.
By the second, he was playing on such a sublime plane that when one exciting rally ended with him hitting a backhand overhead winner off his racquet frame, this mixture of brilliance and good fortune could only make you feel sorry for Ruud.
Bryan Habana, the Springbok World Cup-winning rugby star, had a ringside seat for all these marvels and couldn’t stop laughing with incredulity at what he was seeing.
Ruud didn’t feel sorry for himself, though. When Federer’s level dropped in the third, he rose along with his soaring confidence and the No.3 seed must have been just a little relieved when he survived a set point in a tight, nervy tie-breaker and went on to deliver the conclusive smash at the end of a 17-shot rally, the longest of the whole entertaining 2hr 11min match.
Entertaining but “tough”, reckoned Federer, who seemed in buoyant, if nostalgic mood.
“I feel that my 20 years on the tour went too fast almost,” he reflected. “When you play against people like Casper Ruud, you ask, ‘how was it at the time?’ When I started on the tour he was hardly born.”
Actually, he was born five months after Federer started.
“I'm happy I'm putting myself in a position like this in a fourth round of the French Open after not having played so many years here,” added Federer.
“My 1000th victory on tour touched me a lot, moved me. But, no, not 400 victories here but 400 matches, okay,” he smiled. For the ageless Federer, there’s doubtless still time for the 400 wins too!