With an uprising buzz around his prospects to ensure an 18th Grand Slam, Roger Federer unfolds his account at the 2015 US Open against Leonardo Mayer – a player who had five match points on Federer last time they played. Check out the Federer vs Mayer Head to Head matches. After a self-confidence & morale boosting Cincinnati Masters title behind him, the 5-time US Open champion kick starts his 2015 crusade in New York on Tuesday against the Argentine World No.34.
While it may not quite liken to Andy Murray’s brutal first-round draw of Nick Kyrgios, Federer surely could have drawn a more comfortable opponent to face in his opening match at the US Open as he tries to return to the final for the first time since 2009. Mayer, who absolutely reveres Federer, is currently ranked world no. 34 and narrowly missed being seeded for the US Open. He also held five match points on Federer in their one and only career meeting thus far (Shanghai Masters 2014), a match which Federer described himself as ‘crazy lucky’ to pull through at the time.
Mayer reached a career high of world no. 21 earlier this season, largely due to a very impressive 2014 which saw him finish runner-up in Vina del Mar, reach the third or fourth rounds at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open and win the 500-level Hamburg event on clay in the summer, defeating David Ferrer in the final. 2015 hasn’t been quite so stunning for Mayer, with highlights including finishing runner-up in Nice to Dominic Thiem in May, reaching the Sydney semifinals and winning the longest Davis Cup singles match in history back in March (on March 8, 2015, he played in the longest singles match in Davis Cup history, beating João Souza in 6 hours and 42 minutes, 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–5), 5–7, 5–7, 15–13), and his failure to defend his Hamburg title has seen him slide out of the top 32 and find himself unseeded at a Grand Slam once again.
Mayer hasn’t won back-to-back matches since reaching the third round of Wimbledon (he lost to Kevin Anderson, who also beat him in the first round of Cincinnati) so he doesn’t come into this match with any peculiar form. The same cannot be said for Federer, who claimed his first Masters title of the season – and first win over Novak Djokovic since February – in Cincinnati with a series of sterling serving performances.
Federer’s seventh Cincinnati title was earned by well-executed aggressive play, with his newly acquired habit of half-volleying second-serve returns from so far inside the baseline he’s practically inside the service box particularly remarkable. It will be a very efficacious tactic against Mayer, whose serve is not the most substantial facet of his game, but what will probably be Mayer’s biggest trouble is the traumatic after-effects of those five match points in Shanghai – one of which he squandered by one of the worst missed volleys imaginable. For Federer, the big query is whether the same aggressive approach that served him so well in Cincinnati can see him through the early rounds in energy-conserving style.
PREDICTION – Federer in straight sets
Roger went onto win the 2014 Shanghai Masters (defeated Novak in the SF) after saving match points against Mayer in his opening round match. Could this year’s US Open be a repeat!!
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