Roger Federer has been in New York City for over a week now. In that span of time he took a helicopter ride over the city, caught the latest exhibition at the Met and sobbed as he watched the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland” with his wife and twin girls. Typical NYC tourist? Not quite, because he also had a major Nike sponsor event with fellow Nike tennis stars of the past, present and future. He participated in a tennis clinic organized by Mercedes and he took part in the Arthur Ashe Kids Day event as he had done so often in the past. Not your usual tourist in the Big Apple by any means. But all that might make you wonder, what about the actual tennis? Well he crammed that into his busy schedule too 😉
Roger faced off against Leonardo Mayer in his first round match at the 2015 US Open. He had been worried about it because in their last match in Shanghai, Roger got very lucky indeed to come away with the win. However, at the biggest tennis stadium in the world, history didn’t dare to repeat itself. It was a one-way train from the get-go despite Roger initially having trouble with his first serves. As the match progressed, he got better and better and even brought out his newest tool, the SABR, a few times. Roger won the match 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in just 77 minutes.
This match set several records for Roger. The Swiss has now played in a total of 66 Grand Slams and trails only Santoro who played in 70. This US Open is his 64th consecutive Grand Slam appearance which is a record for both men and women. This is also his 16th consecutive appearance at the US Open. Meanwhile, here are a few links from this match that will give a better taste of what this experience was like for poor Mayer. Here is a link with the 3 SABRs he tried in just one game, here is the delicious smash at 2nd set point and here is the unreal backhand he hit. This is a link to the on-court interview, the presser video and the presser transcript too.
Two days later it was match time again. Roger faced off against Darcis in the second round with a night match this time. This match took 3 minutes longer than his first one. In 80 minutes he finished off Darics, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 facing (and saving) just one break point. Unlike his first match, he started much better in this one and except for that one bad game when he was down a break point, he held his serves very well. He did miss out on 12 breakpoints but converted 7 which was obviously more than enough 😀 Here are some fun links for you for this match. The amazing smash, the running forehand and the fantastic volley, the SABR of the day, the on-court interview, the ESPN interview and the presser video and transcript.
By the end of both these matches Roger extended the following records he already holds:
- Winning a record 293 Grand Slam matches out of a record 341 Grand Slam matches played
- Winning 74 US Open matches, still in 3rd place (in the Open Era) behind Agassi and Connors
- Winning a record 149 hardcourt Grand Slam matches
- Winning a record career total of 640 hardcourt matches
- Winning 791 career total outdoor matches, still in 2nd place behind Vilas
- Winning 1,043 career total matches out of 1,277 career total matches played, still in 3rd place behind Lendl and Connors.
Last but not the least he also set a new record of 29 US Open Night match wins overtaking Agassi’s 28.
Roger has played very well so far, carrying over his form from Cincy. It took him a bit of time to get used to the conditions but he improved with every game he played. From his next match, the road will start to get more difficult. He will face Philipp Kohlschreiber with whom his H2H is 9-0. However, Philipp also plays creative, aggressive tennis and he almost defeated Roger the last time they played at Halle a few months ago so that H2H is not set in stone. Remember the Australian Open earlier this year? Yep, thought so. *sigh* The match is the second one of the day, scheduled to start not before 1pm local time so tune in then to see the Maestro in action. Good luck Roger!
***Photos are USTA photos from the US Open site.***