After dispatching one Australian in the opening round of his 60th consecutive Grand Slam appearance, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will now cross paths with a younger Aussie in his the second round. He is scheduled face Sam Groth for the first time on the professional tour to determine who will advance to the third round of the tournament.
Not only did Federer make a winning start to his Grand Slam campaign in New York, he also became the first player this season to pass 50 match wins this season. The second seed defeated Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) to secure the victory over the Australian.
“I knew he could serve and volley that some. He did that against me a little bit in Brisbane. That he did it first or second serve or almost after every serve starting I think in the third set, the numbers are going to go up quickly coming to net. I didn’t change my game from my perspective on my serve. I definitely tried to change things around a little bit on the return. I guess it’s a good thing that I played someone like him, because my next opponent is going to be a serve-and-volley player as well, which plays different than any baseliner out there, that’s for sure.”
Federer also had a surprising guest in his box for the evening – Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan, who sat throughout the match.
“I was so happy that he came into the world of tennis for a little bit and that he got to see me as the character in the whole show was pretty cool. I met him yesterday for the first time and it was a big deal for me; it’s been a special past 24 hours. We talked how I prepare, how much I play, where I go next; we exchanged ideas about our respective sports. That’s what you talk about.
“He was my all-sports idol growing up. [NBA] was big on the German TV station, the NBA highlights. That’s where I saw him do all his moves. I was into his great athleticism. That’s what inspired me.”
Australia’s Sam Groth was also able to crusie into the second round with a straight sets victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The youngster hit 12 aces, won 88% of his first service points and converted on 2 of 5 break point opportunities to close out the contest 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 in 2 hours and 2 minutes.
This marks the first time that Federer and Groth will meet on the professional tour and will certainly be a match-up that heavily favours the former champion.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets