Monday, May 28, 2012
Roger Federer scored a 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win over Tomas Kamke at the French Open to equal Jimmy Connors' record of 233 Grand Slam match victories.
This was also his his 50th win at Roland Garros.
"It's a big record, because that was longevity. Jimmy is obviously one of the greats of all time, and was around for 20 years," said Federer.
"This is my 13th or 14th French Open. It all started back in '99 against Rafter, and I have hardly missed any Grand Slams.
"I love the big tournaments. I have been so successful for such a long time and to already tie that record which is 30 years old is pretty incredible, so I'm very happy."
"You step back, you realize you have been playing for quite a long time. ... When I started, I loved playing against those famous players I used to see on TV. Now I'm playing against younger players, a new generation," he said. "It's great I didn't suffer that many injuries over these years. And I always had fun playing tennis."
Federer now has his sights on another Connors record.
"He had 109 career victories, I'm at 74 now. Is it possible for me to equal Connors' titles? 110, that would be a round figure. That would be incredible. But that's a dream. I go year after year, and we'll see."
The Swiss admitted that his relationship with Connors has not always been close.
"He didn't talk to me much when he was working with Andy Roddick. He was quite distant at that time, which is a bit weird, because I got on very well with Roddick," explained Federer.
"But I think he respects me very much. He is much closer to Nadal than to me. Maybe that's the reason."
Today, he was broken once in each set, including while trying to serve for the match at 5-2 in the third. He also piled up 47 unforced errors, 16 more than Kamke.
"They're never easy, those first rounds, you know. Last thing you want is to go down a set or getting in a tough situation, but I was able to stay ahead in the first set. Had bits of ups and downs on my serve," Federer said. "But overall, I'm happy I'm through. That's what I look at in the end."
Roger took victory over Kamkeon a sixth match point courtesy of a sweeping forehand.
Even that was an extension of another highlight of his career as it was pointed out to him that it was his 48th straight win over German players.
"I have good records against many players, thank God. I was on a winning streak against Americans for a while, too," he said.
"I lived up to expectations and was able to come through. German players usually are talented like the French players and always give you a good match."