Federer shows promise in return
The four biggest stars with 81 majors between them sounded their intentions clearly in week one.
Men’s favourites Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal cruised into the fourth round while Serena Williams’ pursuit of a record 24th Grand Slam title gathered steam as she cantered into the fourth round, despite having fallen in two of her three clay-court matches leading in.
Her fellow 39-year-old, Roger Federer – on the comeback following two knee surgeries and with only three matches in 16 months – was quick to hose down title talk. But the manner in which the Swiss glided through his opening round tests elicited plenty of positives.
He had a tough time in the third round against German lefty Dominik Koepfer in a night-session showdown that lasted three hours and 35 minutes and ended 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 7-5 in Federer's favour just before 1:00am on Sunday morning.
It remains to be seen how the Swiss will be affected by that tricky late-night encounter.
“For me, my knee, the good thing is that I got a lot of information out of a match like this,” Federer said after beating Marin Cilic in round two. “Whatever the outcome is, I know it was definitely the right choice to come here to Paris, which I'm very happy about.”