Federer survives Tiafoe in five at U.S. Open, Nadal coasts in three

Survive and advance. It’s not something Roger Federer had to do earlier this summer at Wimbledon–he cruised to an eighth title there without even losing a single set the entire way. But it looks like Federer may have to do it the hard way at the U.S. Open. That will be the case if his Tuesday night battle with Frances Tiafoe is any indication.

The 36-year-old was far from his best in a wild, roller-coaster affair, but he ended up getting through the first-round contest 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. Federer sprayed 56 unforced errors, but he also fired 41 winners to Tiafoe’s 23.

Tiafoe, just 19 years old, turned in a predictably up-and-down performance amidst the pressure of his first appearance in Arthur Ashe Stadium. But it was nothing short of bizarre showing from Federer–even if he was not quite 100 percent due to a back injury that hampered in a Montreal final loss to Alexander Zverev. The Swiss was diabolical in the first set, solid in sets two and three, an out-of-nowhere disaster in set four, and at least good enough to cross the finish line in the fifth.

Federer failed to serve out the match at 5-3 in the decider, but he broke Tiafoe at 5-4 to clinch victory.

Highlights:

“It was more than a test,” the world No. 3 assured. “It was good one. I think we both enjoyed ourselves out here tonight. I’m very happy with the match. It was exciting. It’s king of why I came to New York, as well–to go through these emotions.

“I had a bit of a slow start, but Frances also felt good. Frances fought well. He started to serve better again (in the fourth set). He’s got a great future ahead of himself. It was a coin toss in the fifth set and I’m glad it went my way.”

Rafael Nadal also got off to a slow start in his opening match of the fortnight, but in the end he had no trouble making things go his way against Dusan Lajovic. The world No. 1 broke to stay alive in the first set and was off to the races from there, prevailing 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-2.

7 Comments on Federer survives Tiafoe in five at U.S. Open, Nadal coasts in three

    • Me too…though I hope at least one of them (Rafa!) to reach semis… I will then definitely be there..,

    • I don’t know, I always think that Krygios won’t live up to expectations and I’m right most of the times. It’s when you least expect it that he can perform well.

      He hadn’t done anything at the slams other than reaching QF at Wimbledon 2014(beating Rafa in the previous round) so there’s no reason to think he’ll do well this time, other than reaching R4 maybe to play Fed. Moreover he had his injury issues lately, he’s not going further than QF imo and now he has done worse.

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