Top seed Roger Federer moved smoothly into the last 16 at the French Open on Saturday.
Federer outplayed close friend Mario Ancic of Croatia, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in cool, rainy, evening conditions on the Philippe Chatrier Center Court
In men’s third round action, the main upset came when back-to-form Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia battled from two sets down to oust fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
It was, he said, his “biggest victory ever, especially coming back from two sets down to beat Nikolay,” and came after “a very dark period for me the last 12 months” when he was mentally worn out.
“I’ve been feeling well since the first tournament on clay and it was just a matter of time,” he said. “I was feeling that something positive was going to happen.”
The 26-year-old Federer, who is looking to win in Paris the only Grand Slam title that has eluded him, broke Ancic in the fourth game of the first set to set the tone for what turned out to be a one-sided contest.
Ancic, who is climbing back up the world rankings after missing most of last season through illness and injury, simply had no answer to the Swiss star’s command of the exchanges, either from the baseline or at the net.
“I struggled a little bit early on, but once I got the break I started to play better and more freely,” Federer said. “I am happy with my performance — not losing much energy in the first week is always a good sign.”
Federer went through for a fourth round match-up with Frenchman Julian Benneteau, who had two points against him in a tie-break to go two sets down before hitting back to defeat Robin Soderling of Sweden 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0, 6-1.
The French flag was flying also for former world junior champion Gael Monfils, whose superior fitness helped him see off Jurgen Melzer of Austria 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.
Fifth-seed David Ferrer of Spain also slugged it out over five sets with Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt before winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, but Davydenko became the highest seed to fall in the tournament with his loss to Ljubicic.
Ferrer will next take on the much-improved Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, whose unpredictable game was too much for Spanish clay court specialist Tommy Robredo, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.
Robby Ginepri became the first American player to reach the fourth round since Andre Agassi in 2003 with an impressive 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 trouncing of Florent Serra of France.
He moved through to take on Chile’s Fernando Gonzalez, who also fought back from two sets down to beat ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
In the second round of the women’s doubles Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Chuang Chia-jung defeated Rossana De Los Rios and Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.