French Open 2014: Roger Federer and Serena Williams come through their first-round matches at Roland Garros unscathed

The majestic Swiss wrapped up his victory over Lacko in 84 minutes

Roger Federer spent as little time as possible on court on the opening day of the French Open on Sunday, beating Lukas Lacko 6-2 6-4 6-2 before returning to his parental duties on Mother's Day in Paris.

Serena Williams, the No.1 seed and overwhelming favourite to retain the women's title, needed time to find her rhythm against France's Alize Lim before winning 6-2 6-1. The American's older sister, Venus, also reached the second round.

Watched by his wife, Mirka, and his twin girls, Federer moved gently through the gears against the shaggy-haired Slovakian under grey skies on the Philippe Chatrier show court.

The former champion, who has returned to something close to his best form after a disappointing 2013, admitted a trace of fear before the start of the year's second grand slam.

"I wasn't nervous actually going into the match," said Federer, 32. "It's more just like those hints of fear, maybe yesterday, maybe this morning at one point, just for like five seconds 'Oh, I really hope I don't have to pack my bags today', that kind of feeling."

But he had little to fear from Lacko and by mid-afternoon he was once again in a position to help Mirka look after their newly born twin boys. "Everything is great," Federer said.

Serena, who warmed up for the match against her training partner wearing a blazer suit, committed 23 unforced errors in the first set, allowing the local favourite two break points in the fifth game, but the American always had too much power.

Serena Williams celebrates after her first-round win Serena Williams celebrates after her first-round win With the first set under her belt, Serena tightened up her game but relaxed again at the death when she wasted four match points, one with a double fault, before winning on the fifth.

Venus Williams, wearing a self-designed dress that added splashes of colour to a grey day, showed she is still a force at the age of 33 by taking, and returning, all that Belinda Bencic could throw at her in winning 6-4 6-1.

The 17-year-old Bencic, coached by Martina Hingis's mother, traded low, hard blows with the American from the back of the court. But Williams had too much experience for the Swiss and demonstrated that her powers of recovery remain undimmed.

"I'm trying to focus - I've not played a lot in the last couple of months so I have to try to focus," said Venus who could meet Serena in the third round. "It was definitely good to try and get some rhythm."

Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, the 15th seed, recovered from two sets down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 3-6 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-0, a feat also accomplished by Czech Radek Stepanek who won 6-7 (8) 3-6 6-4 6-3 6-2 against Facundo Argueello of Argentina.

Sixth seed Tomas Berdych beat Peter Polansky of Canada in straight sets after Milos Raonic and Agnieszka Radwanska shook off the morning chill to ease into the second round.

Poland's Radwanska, the third seed, won 6-3 6-0 after the first seven games against Zhang Shuai went against serve. Canadian Raonic, seeded eighth, beat feisty Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-6 (1) 6-3.

Radwanska set the ball rolling on the main Philippe Chatrier show court under overcast skies. Forecasters warn intermittent rain is expected over the early days of the tournament.

Wearing a floral print dress perhaps in anticipation of more spring-like temperatures, Radwanska took a while to get into her rhythm and both women struggled badly with their service.

But the Pole eventually held for 5-3, after saving three break points, and then broke the Chinese to take the set. The second set was a rout, however.

"I think it was a very wet court. I think the courts are not always dry, it's raining every day, so it makes the courts much slower," Radwanska said.

"Every two-set match is great in a two-week tournament. It's important that I spent only one hour on court," added Radwanska who played with a heavily strapped thigh.

She was badly hampered by a knee injury when losing the Indian Wells final to Flavia Pennetta in March.

Another Chinese, Zheng Jie, was among the early losers, going down 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-4 to Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia.

Daniela Hantuchova, another Slovak and seeded 31, came from a set down to beat Jovana Jaksic of Serbia 2-6 6-2 6-4.

Raonic pushed Novak Djokovic in the Rome semi-finals before losing in three sets to the eventual champion and he eased through the first set against Kyrgios.

The eighth seed was broken midway through the second but recovered immediately, leaving his 19-year-old opponent to hurl his racket to the court, shaking his head.

The Australian got increasingly frustrated through the second-set tiebreak, berating himself repeatedly, before Raonic took it 7-1. Raonic served out to win the third set on his third match point.

"I felt very good," said Raonic.

"I was able to do the things I wanted to do. In the first round you go in not knowing exactly how things are going to play out, and I was able to, when it mattered, put forward the right attitude and the right level of tennis."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
film
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried