Roger Federer has a chance this week to close the gap in the World number 1 pursue.
Coming in his hometown, Basel, Federer hopes to reproduce his great form he always had during this event. He remembers proudly how he was a ball-boy here for 2 years. Every year after he finishes Basel, win or lose, he has a party with the ball-kids.
Due to injury, the Swiss Maestro skipped last year’s edition, but won it on his last try, in 2015. He then won against his greatest rival, Rafa Nadal. So, in a way, he comes to defend his title.
In the first round he met rising star, Frances Tiafoe. The American proved to be a big challenge for Roger in US Open’s opener, where the GOAT barely won in a thrilling 5 setter. But let’s not forget he was still recuperating from his back injury.
In the first set, Federer broke Tiafoe’s serve from the start. The Swiss took the teenager by storm and left him unable to find answers.
The 19 years-old was serving strong, but way too flat and predictable. He was making too many unforced errors and seemed overwhelmed. It was all due to Federer’s outstanding form.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner had it all right. His serve was untouchable, powerful, well placed, constant and varied. He came to the net quite often and always took time from the Next Gen star. He varied his shots, looking for the lines, volleying and taking surprising drop shots.
Federer returned brilliantly, long and well placed, using Tiafoe’s power. It was a one way traffic in the first set, almost succeeding a bagel. It ended in a dominant manner, 6-1.
Tiafoe tried to regroup in the second set. He started being more composed and did less unforced errors. He increased his speed and varied his shots more, including the serve.
Even though Frances started playing better, he still couldn’t read Roger’s serve. The Swiss never faced a break point during the match.
Federer went on breaking the youngster’s serve in the eight game of the second set and closed the match confidently, from the first match point.
Roger Federer showed great form to crush the young rising star, 6-1, 6-3. He will play next against France’s Benoit Paire.
Elsewhere, David Goffin won a match after showing low form in his last 2 tournaments and losing surprisingly against the Greek teenager, Tsitsipas, in his home country.
The 3rd seed claimed the victory against Moselle Open’s champion, Peter Gojowczyk, 6-2, 7-5. The Belgian keeps alive the chance to qualify for the World Tour Finals.