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Federer Moves Clear Of Connors For Most Major Match Wins

Paris, France

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer has won more matches at the major championships than any other player.

Roger Federer moved clear of Jimmy Connors on Wednesday for most matches won at the four Grand Slam championships in the Open Era (since 1968).

Federer improved to 234-35 lifetime after he battled to beat World No. 92 Adrian Ungur of Romania 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3 at Roland Garros for a third round match against Slovakian Martin Klizan or Nicolas Mahut of France. 

"I reached the tie-breaker and instead of being aggressive, I let him show me what he could do," said Federer. "He played two beautiful shots, and then I started not playing very well.

"Even though I won the first set 6-3 with a solid break, I knew that if he was to get in the match, it would be more difficult, and he had many opportunities during the second set. In the third set I made wrong decisions. He got in the match, and he played a very good third set. Then he relaxed a bit at the beginning of the fourth set, which was quite crucial."

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Federer saved two set points at 4-5, 15/40 in the third set, then he squandered two match point opportunities at 6-4 in the tie-break with mis-timed groundstrokes. He lost four straight points and a net-rushing Ungur clinched the 48-minute third set when he rushed Federer into a backhand error. Federer is now 9-6 this year in tie-breaks.

Ungur, who plays German Bundesliga tennis for TC Amberg, began to tire at the start of the fourth set that saw Federer take a 3-0 lead. It proved to be enough and the 30-year-old Federer improved to a 33-4 record on the season with victory in just just over two hours and 30 minutes.

The 16-time major champion, who won the 2009 Roland Garros title (d. Soderling), hit 15 aces and 50 winners. He converted four of his 12 break point opportunities. Federer won his 20th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Berdych) earlier this month.

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych dropped just seven games against France's Michael Llodra for a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory in one hour and 41 minutes. Berdych recorded his first win over Llodra since June 2007 at Wimbledon. The 26-year-old Czech, who reached the 2010 semi-finals (l. to Soderling), now has a 348-200 match record.

"I tried to return with a return volley, return volley, but he's so powerful," said Llodra. "I wanted to chip the balls a little, to change the pace, but it was never good enough to bother him... He's a serious client. He's shown this in the recent weeks, in the three [ATP World Tour] Masters [1000 tournaments]. There's not much I could do or could have done."

Berdych will next challenge South African No. 31 seed Kevin Anderson, who fired 21 aces past Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and 11 minutes. Anderson committed 20 unforced errrors and dropped 23 points on his serve.

Italian No. 22 seed Andreas Seppi required three hours and 18 minutes to beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-7(5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2. He won 23 of his 31 approaches to the net on a hot afternoon in Paris.

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