Fed­erer avoids up­set

Nadal com­plains about noise 2017

Global Times - - Sports -

Roger Fed­erer sur­vived a five- set bat­tle to de­feat Amer­i­can teenager Frances Ti­afoe and reach the US Open sec­ond round on Tues­day, keep­ing his bid for a record sixth New York ti­tle alive.

The 36- year- old Swiss, chas­ing his third ma­jor of the year and 20th of his ca­reer, pre­vailed 4- 6, 6- 2, 6- 1, 1- 6, 6- 4 to avoid los­ing in the first round of a Slam for the first time since the 2003 French Open.

The fast and fu­ri­ous duel un­der the roof of Arthur Ashe Sta­dium was one of only nine matches to be com­pleted as tor­ren­tial rain swept 55 matches off Tues­day’s sched­ule.

At times, Fed­erer also looked as if he was about to dis­ap­pear with the del­uge, strug­gling with a back in­jury as well as the all- out as­sault of Ti­afoe, the big- hearted 19- year- old son of im­mi­grants from Sierra Leone.

But the vet­eran sur­vived to reg­is­ter his 79th win in New York and set up a sec­ond- round match- up with ei­ther Rus­sia’s Mikhail Youzhny or Blaz Kav­cic of Slove­nia.

“I had a slow start. I was wor­ried about the back in­jury. In the fifth set, it was a coin toss and it went my way tonight so I am very happy,” said Fed­erer, who fin­ished with 17 aces, 41 win­ners and 56 un­forced er­rors.

Fed­erer missed the 2016 tour­na­ment with in­jury and was play­ing un­der the $ 150 mil­lion Ashe roof for the first time.

The win took Fed­erer’s first- round record in New York to 17- 0 while world No. 1 Rafa- el Nadal, a two- time cham­pion in New York, went to 13- 0 af­ter the French Open win­ner claimed a 7- 6 ( 8/ 6), 6- 2, 6- 2 win over Ser­bia’s Du­san La­jovic.

The 31- year- old Spa­niard was crit­i­cal of the noise in­side the Ashe sta­dium, which was am­pli­fied to dis­tract­ing lev­els by the roof, which was closed for vir­tu­ally the whole day.

“I un­der­stand it’s a show, but un­der the roof we need to be a lit­tle bit more strict about the noise. All the noise stays in­side, and this is dif­fi­cult,” said Nadal.

Japan’s Naomi Osaka was one of just seven women to get through to the sec­ond round, aided by play­ing un­der the roof.

The world No. 46, born in Japan to a Haitian fa­ther and Ja­panese mother, clinched a 6- 3, 6- 1 win over sixth seed An­gelique Ker­ber, who be­came the first women’s de­fend­ing cham­pion to lose in the first round since Svet­lana Kuznetsova in 2005.

Ker­ber is the third top seed to go out in the first round af­ter No. 2 Si­mona Halep and sev­enth- seeded Jo­hanna Konta lost Mon­day.

World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, the run­ner- up in 2016, eased past Poland’s Magda Linette 6- 2, 6- 1.

French Open cham­pion Je­lena Ostapenko downed Spain’s Lara Ar­ru­aber­rena 6- 2, 1- 6, 6- 1 in a match re­lo­cated from Court 17 to Ashe.

Photo: CFP

Roger Fed­erer plays his first- round match at the 2017 US Open against Frances Ti­afoe at Bil­lie Jean Na­tional Ten­nis Cen­ter in New York City on Tues­day.

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