Five time champion Roger Federer who last won the title in 2008, got his campaign off to a good start with a 6-2,6-2,6-4 win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2,6-2,6-4. Also advancing were the seventh seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia who won the title in 2014, fourth seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany and the three time champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
In what was his 18th appreance in New York, having missed only the 2016 edition due to injury, Federer is now 18-0 in opening round matches at the year’s final Grand Slam. Federer hit 56 winners and dropped serve only once in the match. That was in the eighth game of the third set when he was serving for the match, which he won eventually in the next game. Fourth seeded Alexander Zverev beat the lucky loser Peter Polansky of Canada, 6-2,6-1,6-2. Cilic advanced when Marius Copil of Romania retired with the score reading 7-5,6-1,1-1. Novak Djokovic recovered from a break down in the third set after splitting the first two against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. From 2-4 down in the third set, the sixth seed reeled off 10 consecutive games to score a 6-3,3-6,6-4,6-0.
Also advancing were the Frenchman Benoit Paire who next plays Federer in the second round and the Australian Nick Kyrgios, seeded 30th and Federer’s projected fourth round opponent. Paire who had two match points against the Swiss maestro in Halle, had a hard fought 7-6(6),3-6,7-5,7-6(5) win over the qualifier Dennis Novak. Kyrgios also needed four sets to beat the little known Radu Albot of Macedonia, 7-5,2-6,6-4,6-2. He next faces another Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert who took out the lone Indian in the draw, Yuki Bhambri 6-3,7-6(3),7-5.
Other seeded players to advance were the 10th seeded David Goffin of Belgium 6-2,6-4,7-6(5). In an all Argentine match up Diego Schwartzman beat Federico Delbonis 6-2,7-6(6),6-2. Kei Nishikori of Japan, a former finalist in 2014 and seeded 21st, beat Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-2,6-2,6-3. The 26th seeded Richard Gasquet of France beat Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-3,6-1,6-3. Lucas Pouille of France, seeded 17th, beat the German qualifier Yannick Maden 7-6(6),6-2,7-5.
Twelfth seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain beat Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, 7-5,6-2,6-2. Italy’s Fabio Fognini, seeded 14th, beat the American wildcard Michael Mmoh 4-6,6-2,6-4,7-6(4). The 23rd seeded Hyeon Chung won when Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania retired in the fourth set with the score 4-6,7-6(6),6-0,2-0.
Other winners included Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, Alex de Minaur and John Millman of Australia, Jan-Lennard Struff and Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, Robin Haase of Netherlands, Jaume Munar of Spain, Gael Monfils and Nicolas Mahut of France. Tennys Sandgren of the U.S.A., Laslo Djere of Serbia, Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus and Joao Sousa of Portugal and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
In what were minor upsets, Matthew Ebden of Australia advanced when 32nd seeded Filip Krajinovic of Serbia retired in the fifth set after the pair split the four sets, 7-6(1),6-7(5),4-6,6-1,4-1. Julien Benneteau of France beat Marco Cecchinato of Italy, seeded twenty second, 2-6,7-6(5),6-3,6-4. American Frances Tiafoe who lost his first round match last year to Roger Federer in five sets, upset the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-1,6-4,4-6,6-4.
Following is the list of matches to be played on Wednesday with my pick mentioned first:-
Rafael Nadal (1) v. Vasek Pospisil (-)
Karen Khachanov (27) v. Lorenzo Sonego (-)
Jack Sock (18) v. Nikoloz Basilashvili (-)
Guido Pella (-) v. Paolo Lorenzi (-)
Dominic Thiem (9) v. Steve Johnson (-)
Taylor Fritz (-) v. Jason Kubler (-)
Denis Shapovalov (28) v. Andreas Seppi (-)
Kevin Anderson (5) v. Jeremy Chardy (-)
Juan Martin Del Potro (3) v. Denis Kudla (-)
Andy Murray (-) v. Fernando Verdasco (-)
Borna Coric (20) v. Roberto Carballes Baena (-)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (15) v. Daniil Medvedev (-)
John Isner (11) v. Nicolas Jarry (-)
Dusan Lajovic (-) v. Cameron Norrie (-)
Milos Raonic (25) v. Giles Simon (-)
Stanislas Wawrinka (8) v. Ugo Humbert (-).
In the ladies section of the draw, second seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark beat the 2011 champion Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-3,6-2, while the reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber of Germany defeated the Russian Margarita Gasparyan 7-6(5),6-3. Last year’s finalist Madison Keys of the U.S.A., seeded fourteenth, beat the Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier 6-4,6-4.
The 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko beat the German Andrea Petkovic 6-4,4-6,7-5. Maria Sharapova of Russia, seeded 22nd beat Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-2,7-6(6). Also winning were the Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, Naomi Osaka of Japan, former two time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and the Russian Daria Kasatkina. Falling by the wayside were the Americans Coco Vandeweghe, Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and Alize Cornet of France.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]