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Federer advances to 3rd round at French Open

PARIS (AP)   Roger Federer walked onto Court Suzanne Lenglen, smiled when greeted with applause and looked up into the stands, where three youngsters waved a banner that read, "Roger 4 Ever."

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Switzerland's Roger Federer serves the ball to India's Somdev Devvarman during their second round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in Paris. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Forever? Probably not, but Federer easily outlasted qualifier Somdev Devvarman in the second round of the French Open, winning 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 Wednesday.

As a sign of his staying power, Federer moved ahead of Budge Patty into third place on the men's list for match victories at Roland Garros with 56. Guillermo Vilas and Nicola Pietrangeli share the record of 58.

Seeded second behind Novak Djokovic, Federer has yet to win a tournament this year, the first time he has arrived at Roland Garros without a title since 2000. But he's rested and healthy, and his vast repertoire of shots was on full display against the overmatched Devvarman, who is ranked 188th and now 0-9 against top-10 players.

Federer glided across the clay, hitting winners from all over the court   even beyond the alleys   and looking at ease on a surface that once vexed him. When he finally took the Roland Garros title in 2009, Federer completed a career Grand Slam and tied Pete Sampras' record of 14 major titles.

He now seeks a record 18th major title, and his first since Wimbledon last year. Through two rounds, both against qualifiers, he has lost only games.

Jamie Hampton earned her first career French Open victory, an upset of No. 25 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (5), 3-6, 9-7, as American women went 10-5 in the first round. Hampton hit seven aces and overcame 50 unforced errors to outlast Safarova in the 2Ω-hour match.

Also part of the resurgence in U.S. fortunes was No. 29 Varvara Lepchenko, who reached the third round by whacking 22 forehand winners to defeat Elina Svitolina 7-6 (5), 6-1.

"A couple years ago, we weren't even in the scene," Hampton said. "There wasn't even a group of us. We've progressed, and I think the whole group will continue to progress. We've all got really good games. We're just trying to find our way on the clay right now."

Stumbling in the second round were Americans Mallory Burdette and Shelby Rogers. Burdette lost to No. 4-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2, and Rogers squandered a lead against No. 20 Carla Suarez Navarro, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

No. 3 Victoria Azarenka filled a mostly empty stadium court with her familiar shrieks and beat Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-1, 6-4 in a first-round match postponed one day because of rain. That meant Azarenka reached the second round 72 hours after some players.

"I felt like I'm one of the last ones to start," she said. "It was a long wait, but I think performance-wise it was a good match."

Azarenka waited in vain to play for much of the day on a rainy Tuesday, but said she wasn't flustered by the delay.

"I just really was chilling the whole day, watching 'The Voice,'" she said. "It was incredible. I was so entertained. There's this girl, her name is Judith. She was a duet singer with Michael Jackson. She's absolutely incredible. I mean, I have no idea how sounds like that can come out of somebody's mouth. It's just, wow."

Fans might say the same thing about Azarenka, who wore down Vesnina with her noisy but steady baseline game, committing only 13 unforced errors.

In other men's second-round play, No. 4 David Ferrer broke serve eight times and beat fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-1, 6-3. No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France eliminated Jarkko Nieminen 7-6 (6), 6-4, 6-3. No. 10 Marin Cilic defeated 18-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

No. 24 Benoit Paire of France delighted a partisan crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen by rallying past Marcos Baghdatis in a rain-interrupted first-round match, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-4.

Paire, 24, acknowledged the pressure of being seeded at Roland Garros, where no Frenchman has won the title since 1983.

"Many TV channels are following me now," he said. "Also, in the past I could walk around with my parents and watch a few matches. It's no longer the case. People now tend to recognize me. It's Roland Garros, you know. They want me to go far. Does that mean more pressure on me? Yeah."

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