Roger Federer vs Frances Tiafoe
19 time Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer will begin his pursuit of a sixth US Open title against American outsider Frances Tiafoe, who has only won seven ATP matches.
The Swiss finally broke the deadlock of a five-year barren run at the Grand Slams by winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles this year. And in the absence of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori is the favourite at Flushing Meadows.
The 36-year-old Swiss will need 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 revamped arena.
“Excited to play on center court for the first time with the proper structure and roof now,” Federer 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 resistance.
“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 and whatnot.
“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.”
However, Roger could show signs of rust after sitting out the Cincinnati Open with a balky back.
The 19-year-old Tiafoe, meanwhile, pushed Federer to a first set tiebreaker in their only meeting in Miami earlier this year. And in the US Open tune up tournament in Cincinnati, he recorded his biggest win so far, over Alexander Zverev.
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