NEW YORK, August 30, 2017
Roger Federer, who missed the 2016 US Open with a knee injury, returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday evening with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 win over #NextGenATP US-American Frances Tiafoe.
In front of packed crowd, the 36-year-old Swiss came back after a shaky start, firing 17 aces and gaining six breaks to secure victory in two hours and 37 minutes.
“I really struggled early on,” told Federer. “I think Frances connected well. I just really kind of lost my footing sometimes. My eye wasn’t working. I was misjudging distance. I think I was also being a bit cautious with my movement.”
The World No. 3 has tied Andre Agassi with his 33rd evening-session match, most among men since 1980.
”I think in many ways people were hoping for a good battle between the #NextGen and somebody established like myself. In many ways also it felt like people were happy to see me again after missing last year. I felt like the energy was in the building,” Federer said.
“They were very excited about seeing me back on the court, especially after the year that I’ve had. They seemed like really a good crowd, crowd support for both players.”
The second win in as many meetings over Tiafoe gave Federer 79 career victories at the US Open, tying Agassi for second-most in history. Another five-time champion, Jimmy Connors, owns the record with 98.
Next up for Federer will be either Blaz Kavcic from Slovenia or Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny.
Earlier in the evening, Madison Keys defeated Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 7-6. The 15th seed from the United States is making her sixth main draw appearance at Flushing Meadows and was in control of the encounter under the lights.
She played aggressive tennis, hitting 32 winners to prevail after one hour and 29 minutes. Keys will next play the winner of the match between Tatjana Maria from Germany and US-American teen Ashley Kratzer.