Snapshots: Roger Federer def. Denis Istomin

The Masked Swinger

It was a much different world the last time Roger Federer played Roland Garros, in 2019.

Roger's Reputation

Federer was a sentimental favorite, of course—and a huge betting favorite, boasting -910 pre-match odds—but he had only played three matches all year, and he just lost his only match on clay, in Geneva to Pablo Andujar.

The Challenger

His opponent, Denis Istomin, had a reputation of his own: the Uzbek famously upset Novak Djokovic in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open.

This Is What They Paid For

In the end, it was Istomin's lack of top-tier form that showed. Having spend much of this season on the ATP Challenger Tour, he proved little match for Federer, who displayed little of the rust we saw in Geneva.

The Swiss' Self-Assessment

"I had multiple ways to win the point, which I didn't feel I had at all in Geneva," said the Swiss after his straight-sets win. "I think I'm finding match rhythm again."(For the full interview,click here.)