NY [U.S.A.], August 30: 19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer rebounded strongly after a shaky start to clinch a thrilling five-set win over 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe in the opening round of the US Open here on Wednesday.
Tiafoe was in no mood to give up as the fourth set got underway though.
World number one Nadal and Federer, who could meet in the semi-finals, will not be bothered as they are scheduled on the roof-covered center court against Dusan Lajovic and Frances Tiafoe respectively, with the Swiss closing the night session.
Even though the U.S. Tennis Association tried to lessen the noise in Arthur Ashe Stadium after the retractable cover's debut during last year's tournament, there was still quite a bit of ambient sound when the top was shut because of rain Tuesday.
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Meanwhile, Nadal said he was equally flummoxed by Murray's decision to withdraw from the US Open last Saturday - after the draw had been made.
Third seed Federer goes on to face Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic or Mikhail Youzhny of Russian Federation on Thursday. "I was hoping to start better", Federer said. Federer has not made a first-round exit in a Grand Slam since the 2003 French Open and has never lost an opener on the NY hardcourts.
The 36-year-old Swiss, who won this year's Wimbledon and Australian Open crowns, took the US Open titles from 2004-2008. It sounds very good, but the real thing, I prefer to play against another player - an easier one, if it's possible. Without the roof, I think that the show and the atmosphere here is hard to compare with in other places.
"I know if I stay in shape there are chances for me to do well at the US Open, but to win it?" I'm very happy with the match, it was exciting and that is kind of why I came to NY as well, to experience these emotions.