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slowing down? Federer said no while going ahead in the French Open


Roger Federer dislikes the implication he’s slowing down

Roger Federer didn’t like that he was slowing down.

When Federer, 39, violated time at the French Open on Thursday for not playing fast enough, he protested against the chair umpire and his rival Marin Cilic.

The warning came in the second set when Cilic twice complained to the chair that Federer was not getting ready to receive the serve as quickly.

“Marin, am I playing too slow?” Federer said. “I understand the rule. I’m going from corner to corner trying to get my towel. I’m not doing it on purpose.”

The brawl delayed play by more than three minutes and Federer looked to be in trouble for the rest of the second set, but he regrouped and won, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2. The win propelled Federer into the third round at Roland Garros, his first major tournament in 16 months.

Federer showed in the third set that he had no hard feelings for Cilic, believing he was not a loser.

At the first point of the deciding tiebreaker, Cilic made a serve near the line and Federer conceded it as an ace. The umpire got up from his seat and called the service longer, but Federer gave Cilic the point anyway. Replays showed the ball was long.

end of drought

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens beat a top-10 player for the first time in 2 1/2 years—and it was the same player as last time.

Stephens made a strong comeback and used her defensive skills to steer the power of 10th-ranked Karolina Pliskova to a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

Stephens’ last top-10 win was against Pliskova at the WTA Finals in Singapore in late 2018.

At number 59, Stephens is out of the top 50 for the first time since 2017, but he is always dangerous on clay. She finished runner-up at the 2018 French Open and made it to the quarterfinals in 2019.

domestic bliss

5 seeded Elena Svitolina says she and her fiancé, former top-10 player Gael Monfils, don’t argue about tennis — or anything else.

“He always has to agree with me, because I’m the boss in the house,” a smiling Svitolina told the crowd during a post-match interview on Thursday.

Svitolina was in a good mood after beating Ann Lee 6-0, 6-4. Monfils later lost to Mikel Yammer 6–0, 2–6, 6–4, 6–3.

3D Rafa

A three-dimensional painting of Rafael Nadal packed with digital tokens of the image in motion shows him playing at the 2014 French Open, which he won.

The 3D image is on multiple layers of plexiglass, and each of Sulzberg Sports Media & Fine Art’s 300 physical images are signed by Nadal.

The sale proceeds will benefit the Rafa Nadal Foundation.

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More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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