NEW YORK, Sporting Alert — Scores, results and recap from the U.S. Open Men’s Singles Round 1 on Tuesday.
Two of the front runners to win the men’s title this year, No. 1 Rafa Nadal and No. 3 Roger Federer, led the way after they advanced to the second round.
But while Nadal eased to victory in his first round match, Federer had to work hard to overcome American teenager Frances Tiafoe.
Nadal dropped Serbian Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (6) 6-2 6-2 to book his U.S. Open second round place and remain on course for a showdown with Federer at Flushing Meadows.
With the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic all missing the tournament, Nadal starts as one of the top contenders.
However, despite being confident, the Spaniard isn’t looking too far ahead.
“Today I won. That’s the most important thing for me,” Nadal told reporters. “I believe that I am ready.”
The two-time champion will next meet American Tommy Paul or Japan’s Taro Daniel after their round one clash was canceled on Tuesday.
“Tough beginning of the match,” he said. ”The important thing is to win because is normal that you have some nerves at the beginning and you get a little bit tight at the beginning of the tournament.
“So important thing is be through and that’s what I did today.”
Meanwhile, Federer needed five sets to see off USA’s Tiafoe, who was determined to grab the biggest headlines on the men’s side in the first round.
However, the world number three used all his experience to come through the scare and grind out a 4-6 6-2 6-1 1-6 6-4 victory.
“We had a good fight,” Federer, who looked more relieved than overjoyed after the win, said in an on-court interview.
“It was exciting and this is why I came to New York, to go through these emotions,” the Swiss added with a laugh.
Federer also praised the efforts of Tiafoe, who showed signs of maturity at just 19.
“He is a great player and has a bright future ahead of him,” he said of the American.
U.S. Open Men’s Singles Round 1 Results
3-Roger Federer (Switzerland) beat Frances Tiafoe (U.S.) 4-6 6-2 6-1 1-6 6-4
1-Rafa Nadal (Spain) beat Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) 7-6(6) 6-2 6-2