Roger Federer gave India's Sumit Nagal a tough introduction to the Grand Slam tennis as the five-year-old champion overcame an early thunderstorm for a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory Monday to reach the second round of the US Open. .
When the match started, Federer looked astonished at the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights as he sprayed rubbish all over the court, but the Swiss woke up too early to turn the fight tirelessly in his favor. "I thought I was playing like my beard today, I was rusty," Federer, who is struggling for a few days to retire, said in an interview with the court. "I'll clean it up for my next fight."
World No. 190 Nagal, who had never won a tournament-level victory and had only qualified for last week's Grand Slam final, swung around and rarely put confidence in the faces of those in Federer's third seed box. The 22-year-old Indian used impressive court coverage and sent feverish shots over the net during his dream, but his legs began to look more talented as the fight wore on and Federer ejected the ship. However, the start of the fight for former world number one Federer, who is chasing his first New York title since 2008, could not have been worse as he made 19 unanswered errors in the first set.
Federer, playing in his first Grand Slam since failing to convert two championship points on his own against Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, was below 0-40 while serving for the race but gained six of the next seven points to keep winning. Next up for Federer, who is seeking a Grand Slam title for his 21st career, will be Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur, who defeated Frenchman Elliot Benchetrit earlier on Monday.