Sunday 24 September 2017 / 05:55 AM

US OPEN DAY 2 WRAP: FEDERER SURVIVES MAJOR SCARE

Roger Federer has survived a major scare on a rain interrupted second day of action at the US Open.

Federer was forced to play out five sets against little known Frances Tiafoe, before eventually seeing off the world number 70: 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes.

“That was more than a test,” Federer said. “I’m happy with the match, it was exciting.

“I had a slow start, he was so good from the beginning. I was worried about my back issue from a few weeks ago.

“Fourth set was a pit I couldn’t get into the driving seat. When things connect for him, he’s great, he’s going to have a very good future.”

Federer has never lost in the first round of the US Open. But despite being pushed to five sets so early in the tournament, Federer maintained he still had full confidence in his body to last the entire fortnight.

“Extremely well. To get through a five-setter you have to be OK,” Federer said, when asked how he felt when he came off the court.

“It’s going to give me great confidence in the body and in my game, because preparation was a little bit compromised, so I’m really, really happy with tonight.”

The 19-time major champion has won every single one of his grand slam matches to date this year. After a six-month injury lay-off, Federer began the season by winning the Australian Open – his first grand slam championship since 2012.

He then missed the clay court swing, including the French Open, and returned to action to claim his historic eighth Wimbledon title to continue a remarkable comeback season.

He is now chasing his sixth US Open crown.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal moved into the second round relatively unscathed. The recently reclaimed world number one defeated Dusan Lajovic in straight sets 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-2 to set up a second round meeting with either Taro Daniel or Tommy Paul.

“At the end of the first set, it was important to get the break back,” Nadal said. “After that, everything changed, I’m very happy.

“I need to keep improving, the first round is never easy. You want to do well from the beginning. I want to focus on trying to do my work well.”

If both Nadal and Federer continue their winning streaks, they will face off in the quarterfinals.

They were the only two men’s matches to be completed on day two with the wild weather delaying play, including the highly anticipated all-Aussie showdown between Nick Kyrgios and John Millman.

In women’s action defending champion Angelique Kerber suffered a shock straight set 3-6, 1-6 loss to Naomi Osaka.

Kerber became only the second defending champion to lose in the first round at Flushing Meadows in the open era.

The loss will also consequently see the former world number one’s ranking drop to outside of the top ten.

But while Kerber’s ranking plummets, current world number one Karolina Pliskova is doing her best to stay atop the women’s field, with a relatively comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win against Magda Linette.

But she still has work to do if she wants to maintain her ranking, as six players left in action could potentially overtake Pliskova at the peak of the rankings after this fortnight.

Reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and Madison Keys were the other winners on day two.

The Kyrgios and Millman clash will undoubtedly be a highlight on day two, in particularly for Australian fans.

Kyrgios was heavily impacted by injury at Wimbledon and made headlines for all of the wrong reasons, especially after retiring in the third round, only to be spotted out partying afterwards.

But he appears to carry some momentum into the last grand slam of the year, specifically following his run to his very first Masters 1000 final at Cincinnati. It will be his first meeting against Millman.

Fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova is also scheduled to kick off her campaign on day three, while Alex De Minaur will finish his tough clash with sixth seed Dominic Thiem.

Ashleigh Barty, Ajla Tomljanovic, Arina Rodionova and Jordan Thompson are all scheduled to play their second round matches on Wednesday as well.

 

AUSSIE TRACKER:

Alex De Minaur trails Dominic Thiem (6): 4-6, 1-6, 0-1

While Kyrgios, Millman and Gavrilova were forced to wait until Wednesday to get started, Alex De Minaur began his first round match with Dominic Thiem on Tuesday. But the Aussie wildcard has his work cut out for him, as he trails the sixth seed two sets to love.

Day 2 upsets – Top seeds who bundled out:

Angelique Kerber (6) lost to Naomi Osaka 3-6, 1-6

Lesia Tsurenko (28) lost to Yanina Wickmayer 3-6, 1-6

 

Day 3 schedule:

ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM – 11:00AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – R1

Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) vs. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)

MEN’S SINGLES – R1

Not Before: 1:00 PM

Henri Laaksonen (SUI) vs. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) [24]

WOMEN’S SINGLES – R2

Timea Babos (HUN) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)

7:00 PM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – R2

Oceane Dodin (FRA) vs. Venus Williams (USA) [9]

MEN’S SINGLES – R2

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [8] vs. Denis Shapovalov (CAN)

 

LOUIS ARMSTRONG STADIUM – 11:00 AM

WOMEN’S SINGLES – R1

Elina Svitolina (UKR) [4] vs. Katerina Siniakova (CZE) TO FINISH 6-0 | 6-6(2-1)

MEN’S SINGLES – R1

John Millman (AUS) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) [14]

WOMEN’S SINGLES – R1

Alison Riske (USA) vs. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) [20]

MEN’S SINGLES – R2

Hyeon Chung (KOR) vs. John Isner (USA) [10]

MEN’S SINGLES – R2 – Not Before: 4:00 PM

Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Kyle Edmund (GBR)

 

GRANDSTAND – 11:00 AM

MEN’S SINGLES – R1

Dominic Thiem (AUT) [6] vs. Alex de Minaur (AUS) TO FINISH 6-4 | 6-1 | 1-0

MEN’S SINGLES – R1

Vaclav Safranek (CZE) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [7]

WOMEN’S SINGLES – R1

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) [8]

WOMEN’S SINGLES – R1

Allie Kiick (USA) vs. Daria Gavrilova (AUS) [25]

MEN’S SINGLES – R2 – Not Before: 4:00 PM

Borna Coric (CRO) vs. Alexander Zverev (GER) [4]

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About the author

Alyssia Varricchio

Alyssia Varricchio is a sports reporter, journalist and producer based in Melbourne.

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