Rankings

Federer, Djokovic survive energy-sapping conditions to storm into US Open second round

Five-time champion, Roger Federer eased past Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka to reach the second round in Flushing Meadows, while Novak Djokovic, who’s gunning for back-to-back Grand Slam titles, beat Marton Fucsovics in four sets.

Federer, 37, aiming for his first US Open title in 10 years, was dominant all through in his 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over 22-year-old Nishioka in an hour and 52 minutes under energy-sapping condition.

“I’m very happy with how I played tonight. It is particularly tough for us Europeans because we don’t get this type of humidity. You are sweating so much you don’t know what has hit you,” Federer said.

“It is tough so you are happy when you survive a day like this.”

Next up for Federer is a second round clash with unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire before a potential third round encounter with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios who pulled through 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 against Moldovan, Radu Albot.

Elsewhere, two-time champion, Novak Djokovic got his campaign underway with a rather uncomfortable first round win in sweltering heat and humid conditions.

Djokovic appeared really unsettled in the steamy conditions against Marton Fucsovics and admitted to feeling sick during the almost-three-hour encounter. He, however, recovered to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The heat was so severe at Flushing Meadows that tournament officials added a 10-minute break between the third and fourth set of the men’s best-of-five singles matches.

Novak Djokovic was discomforted by the humid conditions.

“I was praying that I got to feel better because I wasn’t feeling great for most of the first three sets,” said sixth seed Djokovic.

“I want to thank the US Open for allowing us to have a 10-minute break after the third set. We both needed it.”

Djokovic will next play America’s Tennys Sandgren for a place in the third round.

Fourth seed, Alexander Zverev made light work of Canada’s Peter Polansky, securing a straightforward 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory to advance to the second round where he will face Nicolas Mahut of France.

2014 champion, Marin Cilic made progress after Marius Copil retired in the third set of the match with Cilic leading 7-5, 6-1, 1-1.

Cilic said it was “one of the most brutal days that we had so far this year,” plus the pressure of the shot clock introduced at the tournament this year, had proved challenging.

“I was just missing some easy balls, making some unforced errors that are not that usual for me,” he said, referring to his performance early in the match.

“Conditions definitely were extremely tough and very humid, very hot.”

In the women’s bracket, world No.2, Caroline Wozniacki dispatched Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-2, while Cincinnati Masters champion, Kiki Bertens kept up her scintillating form as she breezed into the second round with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Kristyna Pliskova.

Wimbledon champion, Angelique Kerber survived a first set tie breaker before powering past Margarita Gasparyan in the second set to register a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory.

Russia’s Daria Kasatkina defeated Timea Babos 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, while Petra Kvitova impressively accounted for Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-4.

Grand Slam debutante, Harmony Tan couldn’t upstage her more experienced opponent, Eugenie Bouchard as she was beaten 6-3, 6-1 by the Canadian.

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