Federer shines in the rain
Paris - Defending champion Roger Federer overcame a sloppy first set and two rain breaks to reach the French Open third round on Wednesday with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-4 win over Colombia's Alejandro Falla.
Top seed Federer will tackle either Belgium's Olivier Rochus or German qualifier Julian Reister, the world 165 who hadn't won a match on the main tour until Roland Garros, for a place in the last 16.
Federer went into his match buoyed by having already defeated world number 70 Falla twice without dropping a set, including in the second round of Roland Garros in 2006.
But he struggled throughout the opening set, having to fend off five break points before he was finally broken by the Colombian left-hander in the 11th game.
There was no pushing the panic button, however, as the Swiss, unusually bedevilled by an embarrassing 21 unforced errors in the first set, hit back immediately before sweeping through the tie-break.
Falla, who has led Colombia into the Davis Cup World Group play-offs for the first time this year, sensed his chance had gone and either side of a brief rain interruption he slipped two breaks down to trail 4-1 in the second set.
Federer was in complete control at this stage, slashing his error count and taking the second set 6-2.
Another hour was lost to rain after Falla had held to lead 1-0 in the third.
But the world number one quickly found his rhythm on the resumption, stretching to a 3-1 lead before comfortably going on to wrap up the tie after two hours of action.