Erratic and anxious about a recent back problem, Swiss maestro beats gritty 19-year-old Tiafoe in five-set thriller Roger Federer already has dropped two more sets at the US Open than he did during his entire two weeks en route to the title at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns a shot to Frances Tiafoe, of the United States, during U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in NY.
The Swiss star defeated Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 to advance to the second round.
"To get through a five-setter you have to be okay somehow", Federer said. There was more trouble when Federer served for the match leading 5-3 in the fifth and got broken. I was hoping to start better.
Federer's performance saw questions raised over his fitness just two weeks after he pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters with a back injury as he dropped a set in a first-round match at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2003.
The Swiss, who missed the 2016 US Open to rest a knee injury, takes on US teenager Frances Tiafoe under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium. "It was exciting and this is why I came to NY, to go through these emotions", Federer declared.
Tiafoe, ranked 70th in the world, said he would be "thinking about this one for a while". It was exciting and it's kind of why I came to NY, to go through these emotions. "But to play that way gives me a good feeling".
Fortune started to favour Federer as a net cord brought up three set points at 5-2, and the 36-year-old converted the second to square the match at 1-1.
Still he could not shake off Tiafoe, the teenager breaking back when Federer served for the match, but holding his own serve proved one challenge too far.
Federer to blitz through to the second round in an easy straight set drubbing.