PARIS (AP) — Roger Federer's 4-year-old twins, Myla and Riva, hung in there for about 20 minutes Sunday in his guest box at Court Philippe Chatrier, long enough to see Daddy take control of his French Open match.
Wearing matching white dresses with black polka dots, pink bows in their hair, and sunglasses, the girls whiled away the time by looking at books. They bounced on the knees of their mom or Swiss Davis Cup coach Severin Luthi. At one point, one Federer tyke draped herself over a railing, not all that interested in watching. Eventually, the kids left with a nanny, perhaps to join their twin brothers, who are less than 3 weeks old.
Truth is, Federer's first victory as a father of four — he had been 0-1 since Leo and Lenny joined the world — contained little drama. Federer swept the last five games of the opening set, won 36 of 43 service points in the first two sets, and eliminated 87th-ranked Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the second round at Roland Garros.
"My personal life, as we know, it's all great," the fourth-seeded Federer said. "So I'm happy the family is here."
Sunday's win was the 2009 champion's 59th in a French Open match, tying him with Rafael Nadal for the most in history. Nadal, who's won eight titles here, gets a chance to nudge ahead Monday, when he'll play his first-round match against American wild-card entry Robby Ginepri.
"Rafa is the favorite" to win the tournament, Federer proclaimed, saying Novak Djokovic comes next in the pecking order, "and then the rest (of us); it's very clear."
In Lacko, Federer was facing a guy who's lost 11 matches in a row on clay, and 14 of 20 first-round Grand Slam matches, so there probably wasn't much reason for the 17-time major champion to worry.
And yet, Federer explained, he did experience "those hints of fear, you know — maybe yesterday, maybe this morning at one point — just for like five seconds: 'Oh, I really hope I don't have to pack my bags today.'"
No such problems, of course.
Federer kept Lacko on the defensive by serve-and-volleying occasionally and taking 16 of 20 points at the net.
Still, Lacko wasn't ready to declare Federer capable of winning another major.
"He (has a) couple of moments when he starts to miss a little or couple easy mistakes," Lacko said. "Top guys can take advantage."
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