24 May 2011

Federer cruises through opening game but not happy with balls

6:12 am on 24 May 2011

The tennis world number three Roger Federer easily shot down Feliciano Lopez in the French Open first round before turning his guns on organisers for failing to give players adequate time to get used to this year's Roland Garros balls.

All the talk in the run-up to the year's second grand slam had been about how Novak Djokovic could take Rafa Nadal's title but third seed Federer showed he still has a part to play on the Parisian clay with a 6-3 6-4 7-6 victory.

The thronging crowd was treated to the usual array of classy shots from the Swiss but he received an awful low bounce at a key point in the final set to show the idiosyncrasies of the surface.

Federer says it's disappointing the balls were different from the ones used at all other clay tournaments over the past month.

He says the most frustrating part is that the tournaments all changed to the Roland Garros ball after last year, but now Roland Garros has changed their balls again.

World number four Andy Murray has echoed Federer's view that it is better to use the same balls throughout the clay season.