Federer wins match no. 234, breaks record for most Slam wins
For Roger Federer, setting records on the tennis court is getting to be ho-hum.
The perks that come with them, like dining with Queen Elizabeth II, are the things to really remember.
"Yes, I have had lunch next to the Queen - with the Queen, basically," Federer said. "Big honor, obviously ... Thank God, she came."
Federer beat Adrian Ungur of Romania 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-3 Tuesday in the second round of the French Open. With the win, the 16-time Grand Slam champion broke a tie with Jimmy Connors for most career victories at major tournaments in the Open era, which began in 1968. He is now 234-35 in tennis' top four tournaments, an .870 winning percentage.
But he was less than his dominant self, throwing away two match points in the third set before losing the tiebreaker.
"Instead of being aggressive, I let him show me what he could do," Federer said. "He played two beautiful shots, and then I started not playing very well."
Novak Djokovic also advanced to the third round, as did top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. Radwanska defeated Venus Williams 6-2, 6-3, eliminating the seven-time Grand Slam champion one day after sister Serena Williams lost in the first round.
Against Ungur, Federer had an easy run in the first two sets but then lost his touch for a time in the third.
"I have been around for so long that, even though I expect myself to win, I can still manage to do that," Federer said. "Whereas in the beginning, when you think you're good but you're maybe not that good yet, you get many more surprise losses."
Federer is 33-4 this season with four titles, but he hasn't won a Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open. To get back into the French Open final for the sixth time, he may have to face Djokovic in the semifinals.
Last year, Federer defeated Djokovic at that stage, ending the Serb's 43-match winning streak. And if they meet at Roland Garros again this year, Djokovic will have another streak on the line.
The top-ranked Serb, who beat Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 Tuesday, has won 23 straight Grand Slam matches and needs five more to win his fourth straight major title.
"Everything is working great," Djokovic said. "You know, I'm feeling better and better every match."
For Venus Williams, things aren't going as smoothly. Although she has never won the French Open, the 31-year-old American has always been considered a contender at every Grand Slam tournament.
That all changed last year.
Williams withdrew before her second-round match at the U.S. Open, revealing that she had been diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, a condition that can cause fatigue and joint pain.
She needed three sets to win in the first round Sunday, and never really looked like challenging Radwanska this time.
"When I lose a match, I don't really like to get into ... any of those other things," Williams said when asked about her health situation. "It's just important to give credit to the people who won. And I didn't win."