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'I missed it so much' - Federer ends four-year Paris absence with victory

The 2009 champions will now meet German Oscar Otte for a place in the third round.
May 26th 2019, 4:37 PM 5,160 1

ROGER FEDERER MARKED his return to Roland Garros after a four-year absence with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego on Sunday and said he had “missed playing in Paris so much”.

France Tennis French Open Roger Federer made a winning return to the French Open this afternoon. Source: Michel Euler

Federer, the 2009 champion in Paris, will face German lucky loser Oscar Otte for a place in the third round.

The 20-time major winner hadn’t played the tournament since 2015 when he reached the quarter-finals.

However, on Sunday, it was as if the 37-year-old had never been away as he swept to victory in one hour 41 minutes on a rebuilt and packed Court Philippe Chatrier.

It was his 60th successive first round win at a Grand Slam.

“I missed it so much so thanks for the welcome,” said Federer.

I felt great playing on this court. It looks great and attractive, so congratulations to everyone involved.

“Hopefully I can play here again for my next match.”

Federer broke serve five times and fired 36 winners past 24-year-old Sonego, the world number 73 who made the quarter-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters this year after qualifying.

“Two breaks in the first set was very important for me and when I was leading 4-0 I could take more risks, be more aggressive,” said the third seed.

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“I know that I can play very well on clay and I am very happy to win in straight sets.”

© – AFP 2019

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