Roger Federer of Switzerland waves as he leaves the court after defeating Sumit Nagal of India during their Round 1 men's Singles match at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on August 26, 2019.
Kena Betancur/AFP
Early US Open struggles no concern for Federer
(Agence France-Presse) - August 27, 2019 - 2:12pm

NEW YORK – Roger Federer suggested his sluggish display in Monday's (Tuesday, Manila time) first-round win over Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal at the US Open was "not a bad thing". 

The Swiss third seed, a five-time champion in New York, produced 19 unforced errors to surprisingly drop the first set against a player ranked 190th and without a tour-level win.

The 38-year-old recovered to progress 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 and clinch his 1,224th career victory that set up a meeting with Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur.

"Maybe it's not a bad thing to go through a match like this. It was very similar at Wimbledon when I dropped the first set there, as well, in the first round," said Federer, who lost a five-set epic to Novak Djokovic in last month's final at the All England Club.

"At the end you look at the last three sets, and they were good. That's encouraging."

A dismal first set served as a wake-up call for Federer, who is now 62-0 in Grand Slam first rounds dating back to the 2003 French Open.

"I broke every time first game each set. That was good. I think trying to forget the first set is never sort of easy I guess in a first round, under the lights. People expect a different result. I expect something else," he said.

"I just wanted to pick up my game really, start to play better. I was able to do that. That was a relief, going up 3-0 in the second set, realizing that it is in my racquet, how I also felt it in the first set. 

"The thing is I wasn't serving consistently enough. I was hitting double-faults that usually I don't do. Also I was just hitting too many unforced errors. I was in two minds, I guess."

Federer's victory saw him qualify for a record-extending 17th ATP Tour finals appearance, although he wobbled as he served for the match in the fourth set, a struggle reminiscent of last month's Wimbledon final when he squandered two championship points.

"I thought he was getting a bit down on himself naturally after set two and three. That's why it was key to stay ahead, and I did," Federer said.

"You have to get over the finish line. I got that the hard way in Wimbledon. He did a good job to stay with me. I had to close it out. That was a tough last game. Maybe exactly the kind of service game I needed to serve it out."

ROGER FEDERER TENNIS US OPEN
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