U.S. Open, Day 1 Review: Federer Rolls Into Round Two; Nadal Prepares For Challenges Ahead
August 31, 2009 · Print This Article
Queens, NY—No. 1 seed Roger Federer made quick and clean work of American hopeful Devin Britton on today, defeating the NCAA champ 6-1, 6-3, 7-5. Federer made good on 82 percent of his first serve points won, hit seven aces and broke Britton’s serve on seven occasions.
It was difficult to give a realistic assessment of Federer’s level of play today. During his one hour and 28 minute victory he appeared fluid and alert as ever, however the level of his opponent’s play was often sporadic and desperate. Therefore, to say that Federer played well would not be accurate, but to say that he did what he needed to do would suffice.
Federer reached yet another mind-stone today: he became the first player in tennis history to surpass the $50-million mark.
“I know tennis is not everything, so it’s not a problem,” said Federer, the father of 5-week-old twin girls. “But if I enjoy playing tennis, why should I stop just because I’ve beaten the all-time Grand Slam record? That’s not what tennis is all about.”
Britton was proud of his effort, even though he realized that the road in front of him required hard work.
“My goal was to not get crushed,” Britton conceded, “and make it interesting for a little while.”
With the win, Federer advanced to round two where he will meet Simon Greul of Germany. Gruel endured a marathon match to overcome Giovanni Lapentti 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (11-9).
Should be another romp for R-Fed in round two.
After I witnessed Federer take care of business, I shifted my attention to taking a stroll around the grounds to stretch out my jet-lag and sore back. Upon reaching the outskirts of the tennis grounds (Court 17 to be exact), and before sticking my head into an Andy Murray polymeric, practice session, I noticed an older gentlemen carrying what appeared to be a tennis bag dawning “Rafa.” The bag also included six emblems of Major Glory.
As I inched my way closer (you have to remember here that my legs were still in the stretching process), I realized that the stalky gentlemen was none over than Toni Nadal, the coach of famed Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
There was a distinct reason for the loud whistles and chants coming from Court 17: Rafa was on court.
Hitting with an unknown junior player, the canary-clad shirt Spaniard was up to his day-to-day diligent work regiment.
What you have to respect about Nadal is his ability to always sustain a high level of play, no matter the conditions. Regardless of the opponent, or the court for that matter, Nadal will be out there grunting away, and adamant on improving.
The No. 3 seed will need to be in top form from the get go this year, when he takes good friend and Frenchmen Richard Gasquet on Wednesday evening.
An intriguing match that started my day at the tennis center featured Guillermo Garcia-Lopez taking out Canadian Peter Polansky 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-1.
Peter and I have been fairly good friends since he was a teenager and I won’t say I was rooting for him,(against the media code) but I will say that I’ve always wished him the best.
After Pete went down two-sets-love (holding numerous chances to win both sets) he muscled his way back in the forth and five sets and actually led 1-0 in set five.
However, after breaking the Garcia-Lopez serve in the opening game, Pete became negative with his court positioning, and dropped his form.
Garcia-Lopez crept closer to the baseline and began to belt forehands and backhands into every-which-corner.
For those of you how are not familiar with the game of Polansky, he recently went 6-4, 7-6 with Novak Djokovic during the second round of the Montreal Masters.
More notably, Polansky was the victim of a freak accident during Davis Cup competition a few year’s back, when he jumped out of a hotel window because of a night terror dream.
Polansky’s has since qualified for three Majors this year, and taken his ranking to No. 200 in the world.
All in all, from what I saw today, Polansky can be a top flight player if he addresses his backhand wing. He readily over-hit many backhand returns, as well as not hitting through his contact point during frequent baseline exchanges.
Garcia-Lopez will meet fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo in round two. T-Rob defeated American hopeful Donald Young 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Gentle giant John Isner followed up his stellar summer season by defeating No. 28 Victor Hanescu 6-1, 7-6 (16-14), 7-6.
Isner poured in 13 aces and won the longest tie-breaker of the year thus far (in the second set) over the Romanian.
Other seeded winners on the Day 1 included:
No. 21 seed James Blake defeated Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-1, 6-4, 7-5; No. 8 seed Nikolay Davydenko ousted Dieter Kindlmann 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; No. 12 seed Robin Soderling persevered past Albert Montanes 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; Mikhail Youzhny upset No. 26 seed Paul-Henri Mathieu 2-6, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2; No. 20 seeded Tommy Haas fought past Alejandro Falla 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 and No. 23 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-4, 6-4.
The night match at Ashe Stadium this evening will feature Andy Roddick vs. Bjorn Phau.
Roddick maybe waiting awhile since the ladies match seems to be going the distance.
We’re all getting ready for the night match here at the tennis center. With that in mind, I leave for the moment tennis fans, with the hopes of getting a good seat under the lights.
Please check back shortly, when I will have a preview of Day 2 action from Flushing Meadows, New York. Cheers.