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Roger FedererParis: Roger Federer eased past Germany's Tomas Kamke 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in the men's singles first round of the French Open here Monday, equalling Jimmy Connors' record of 233 Grand Slam match victories.

The win was Federer's 50th at Roland Garros which also coincides with his 50th Grand Slam appearance in a row. The Swiss great made his Frenc Open debut in 1999 when he lost to Australia's Patrick Rafter in the first round. Since then, he has just missed just one Grand Slam and that was the 1999 US Open where he failed to qualify.

Talking about equalling Connors' feat, Federer said: "It is a big record, because that was longevity. Jimmy is obviously one of the greats of all time, and was around for 20 years."

"For me, it all started back in '99 against Rafter, and I have hardly missed any Grand Slams.

"I love the big tournaments. I have been so successful for such a long time and to already tie that record which is 30 years old is pretty incredible, so I am very happy," said the 16-time Grand Slam winner.

Federer will break Connors' record if he wins his second round match against Adrian Ungur of Romania. (IANS)


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