‘Rusty’ Roger Federer gives verdict on performance after early US Open scare

Roger Federer reacted to his performance (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer was given a scare by unfancied Indian Sumit Nagal and admitted he was ‘rusty’ but ultimately booked his spot in the second round of the US Open.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion found himself a set down to the 22-year-old qualifier – whose name closely resembles Federer’s great rival Rafael Nadal – and struggled to find any rhythm in the early stages of the contest, with errors flying off his racquet.

But, as was expected, the Swiss eventually found his groove and downed the world No. 190 to book a second-round tie with Damir Dzumhur.

Following the match, Federer likened his performance to his stubble.

‘I played a little bit like my beard today,’ the 38-year-old said. ‘Rusty.

Roger Federer moved into the second round (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Yeah, I mean, you can see that way that I haven’t played so much. But I feel like I played a lot this year. I don’t want to say like I feel my body.

‘It’s just a switch, again, from the clay and grass over to now the hard courts. I think it just requires a bit different tempo in the shots. Also maybe sometimes going up again, sort of spinning the ball at times. I don’t think it plays particularly fast, especially also was slower tonight, it was night session again.

‘I’m playing a clay-courter, who is comfortable to just rally, keep the ball in play. He actually does a really good job, especially on the inside-out, how he gets around. That was impressive.

‘I knew I could struggle, to be quite honest, especially with the rhythm. You will be in trouble if you serve as poorly as I did in the first set. That puts the pressure on because he had the upper hand from the baseline. It was up to me to be able to change that. Yeah, I’m happy.’


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