Julien Benneteau has been a threat to Federer in the past. He has beaten him twice, and as recently as Rotterdam earlier this year. He was also up two sets to none in Wimbledon last year before Federer stormed back and managed to win the match and later on the tournament. Benneteau simply seems to shine when playing the Fed Express. But yesterday Federer was simply too good and powered through the slightly tired Frenchman 6-3 6-4 7-5.
It's nice to see Federer back in his good old Grand Slam form again after a “hesitant” Spring where people again started talking about the imminent or ongoing demise of the Swiss. Despite not having had the toughest draw, the way Federer hits the ball during this year's French Open is pretty much peRFect. Maybe he will find it more difficult to get that crisp feel if the weather gets hotter, but right now I think he's feeling a hundred percent in the zone.
“I'm happy because I have not used much of my energy so far,” said Federer. “I think I can go deep in the tournament. I feel totally relaxed. Mentally I'm okay. I'm quite confident. I can feel it, which is what you need if you want good results at Roland Garros.”
Judging by his play, I think Federer is on the road to the final. But if Rafa awaits there it will probably and sadly be an all too familiar storyline.