Federer ready to roll at Flushing Meadows
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[August 29, 2017]
By Julien Pretot
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The next act of
Roger Federer's remarkable renaissance starts on Tuesday when the
19-times grand slam champion begins pursuit of a sixth U.S. Open
title against American outsider Frances Tiafoe.
The Swiss snapped a five-year barren run at the slams by bagging the
Australian Open and Wimbledon titles this year and, in the absence
of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, is the favourite
at Flushing Meadows with an equally resurgent Rafael Nadal.
Although the two rivals, who own 34 majors between them, are on a
semi-final collision course, Federer wants to take it one step at a
time as he looks to win his first Flushing Meadows title since 2008.
"I don't think we are both thinking that far ahead," said Federer,
who has never played against Nadal in New York.
The 36-year-old Swiss also needs to adjust to the new surroundings
of Arthur Ashe Stadium, where a retractable roof was inaugurated in
2016. Having skipped the U.S. Open last year during a six-month
layoff to heal a knee injury, Federer has never played in the
"Excited to play on center court for the first time with the proper
structure and roof now," he said. "I missed it last year. I'm very
excited playing here again."
Against him will be 19-year-old American Tiafoe, who he beat in
straight sets at Miami this year and who should not offer too much
[to top of second column]
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a forehand against Alexander
Zverev of Germany (not pictured) during the men's final at the
Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Uniprix Stadium. Mandatory Credit:
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
"It's an interesting first round. Clearly he has
nothing to lose but everything to gain. It's a tough one, plus he's
playing well," said Federer.
"He's an aggressive baseliner like so many of the Americans.
Thankfully I played him in Miami this year so I have a little bit of
an idea of how he plays, and his patterns and what he prefers to do
"At the end I'm going to try to focus on my own game like I usually
do and make sure I make it tough for Frances to get through me."
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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