Roger Federer eases to comfortable win over Denis Istomin on slam return

Swiss into French Open second round 6-2 6-4 6-3Federer playing first grand slam since January 2020

Even at some of the lower points in his career, Roger Federer has rarely entered a grand slam without at least leaving the door slightly ajar for the possibility of a magical outcome. But these are unique times as he continues to return from two knee surgeries not far from his 40th birthday and Roland Garros appeared on the horizon this month, he was unusually frank: “Roland Garros is not the goal,” he said. “The goal is the grass.”

For as long as he is in Paris, though, that does not mean that he cannot have fun. On Monday, Federer returned to grand slam competition for the first time since the 2020 Australian Open 487 days ago and he finally looked like he was enjoying himself on court as he dismantled Denis Istomin 6-2 6-4 6-3 to move into the second round.

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