Fed­erer beats heat, Paire to ad­vance in US Open

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By Dan Gel­ston

NEW YORK » Roger Fed­erer says his fa­vorite drinks are cold wa­ter and a sparkling glass of cham­pagne. Both could be on tap at the U.S. Open: Fed­erer needed a few swigs of wa­ter on an­other steamy day at the Open and he played like a former cham­pion set to un­cork a cel­e­bra­tory bot­tle of bub­bly.

“I don’t like warm drinks, let’s put it that way,” Fed­erer said, laugh­ing.

Fed­erer’s cool­ness on the court be­lied an­other day where play­ers needed cool­ing tow­els as much as their rack­ets. Fed­erer, a five-time U.S. Open cham­pion, had steeled him­self for the heat by chang­ing up his rou­tine — he made an early trip to New York to prep his game in the swel­ter­ing sun.

“I felt like it’s maybe one of th­ese years where it could be hot,” Fed­erer said Thurs­day. “I had the plan to go to Dubai first, where it’s ex­tremely hot. I didn’t want to be away from the fam­ily. I changed plans and said, ‘Let’s go early to Amer­ica and pre­pare over here in the con­di­tions that I’m ac­tu­ally go­ing to see dur­ing the Open.”’

Fed­erer was crisp in a 7-5, 6- 4, 6- 4 win over Benoit Paire in and made it 18 of 18 life­time in the sec­ond round of the U. S. Open. Up next, Fed­erer plays No. 30 seed Nick Kyr­gios on Satur­day.

“Not a bad per­for­mance by any means by me,” Fed­erer said.

He may have skipped hu­mil­ity in the hu­mid­ity but it was tough ar­gue against the No. 2 seed. Fe-

derer, who was forced to clar­ify a joke about re­tire­ment, isn’t go­ing away with a sixth ti­tle in sight.

Fed­erer has eased up on his sched­ule, say­ing he no longer wanted to just “play, play, play.” But when he does, there are still few bet­ter on the hard court. And his plan to pass on Dubai — where temps this week hit 110 de­grees — for the breezy 90s in New York could be a fac­tor in how far he goes.

“If you train in the cold all the time, all of a sud­den it hits you, the hu­mid­ity and heat,” he said. “You’re just not ready. I don’t care how fit you are, what you’re used to, the hu­mid­ity can re­ally get to you. I think that was a good choice.”

Paire wilted in the heat — though, Fed­erer’s back­hand and slic­ing serve was more to blame for his down­fall.

Fed­erer and Paire en­gaged in a soft vol­ley that made it seem like the ball was float­ing through the air com­pared to the power of their 120 mph serves. When Fed­erer fi­nally slipped a win­ner by the French­man, Paire stared blankly ahead with an “I can’t be­lieve this” look of de­spair.

KEVIN HAGEN — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Roger Fed­erer, of Switzer­land, waves af­ter de­feat­ing Benoit Paire, of France, dur­ing the sec­ond round of the U.S. Open ten­nis tour­na­ment, Thurs­day in New York.

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