“It was a nice match to play in,” said Roger Federer after advancing to the last-16 at Roland Garros on Friday. Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

PARIS – Roger Federer on Friday became the first player to contest 400 Grand Slam matches, marking the occasion in style with a straight-sets victory over Casper Ruud to reach the last-16 at Roland Garros.

The 37-year-old downed a battling Ruud, whose father Christian was in the draw when Federer made his Paris debut 20 years ago, 6-3 6-1 7-6 (10/8).

Federer, the champion in Paris in 2009, has now made the fourth round at the French Open for the 14th time, where he will face either fellow 37-year-old Nicolas Mahut of France or Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.

“It was hard to find weaknesses in his game, so I’m relieved. I’m now going to have a good shower, and it’s going to be great,” said Federer, who fired 11 aces and 52 winners but also committed 36 unforced errors.

“It was a nice match to play in.”

Federer, playing the French Open for the first time since 2015, eased through the first two sets against World No 63 Ruud on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

But the 20-year-old Norwegian made a match of it in the third set, saving three match points in the tiebreaker and carving out a set point of his own, before Federer delivered the knockout blow.

AFP