Roland-Garros 2021: Roger Federer got to work in the third round victory against Dominik Koepfer

Roland-Garros 2021: Roger Federer got to work in the third round victory against Dominik Koepfer

It wasn’t easy, but Roger Federer qualified for the fourth round of Roland Garros after a four-set victory over Germany’s Dominik Koepfer on the Philipe Chatrier court.

In a match that ended at around 1 a.m. KST on Sunday, Federer claimed a 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4) 7-5 victory in front of a stadium empty. The stands were empty due to the 9 p.m. curfew in Paris.

The 3.5-hour epic forced Federer to dig deep after losing the second set and losing 4-2 in the third. The experience of the world No.8 ranked player on the big stage shone in the final stages of the hotly contested match.

There was great drama in the fourth set when Koepfer’s emotions threatened to spill over after a line call unfolded against him.

Locked at 1-1 in the set, southpaw Koepfer was down 30-40 when he sent a wide backhand to the right. It was announced by the linesman and confirmed by the chair umpire.

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

The German had a point taken from his next game for unsportsmanlike conduct and lost the set and the match.

Federer qualifies for a fourth round clash with ninth seed Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday. A win over hard-hitting Berrettini would likely set up a quarter-final showdown with Novak Djokovic.

Earlier on Saturday, Rafael Nadal was in compelling form in a quick 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over Cam Norrie. The Spaniard has now won a remarkable 30 consecutive sets at Roland Garros and will face rising Italian star Jannik Sinner in the fourth round.

“It’s going to be tough,” Nadal said. “He’s young, he’s improving every week, he’s having big hits.

“I have to be solid. I also have to be aggressive, because otherwise it’s difficult. I have to make him play from difficult positions, and I can’t make a lot of mistakes.”

In the women’s draw, defending champion Iga Swiatek was beaten in the first set against Anett Kontaveit but rebounded to score a 7-6 (4), 6-0 win to advance to week two.

Swiatek faces Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in the round of 16.

The 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin lost the opening set before defeating fellow American Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, taking the win after converting her third match point .

Teenage sensation Coco Gauff will make her fourth round debut at Roland Garros after Jennifer Brady’s retirement with a foot injury.

Gauff won the first set 6-1 when Brady was sent off. The youngster should now play against Ons Jabeur in the round of 16.

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