World No. 2 Roger Federer begins his quest for a 21st grand slam on Tuesday night, taking on Yoshihito Nishioka for a spot in round two. Federer seemed the probable favourite for this tournament just a few months ago but the return of Novak Djokovic to the top has pushed him down the pecking order.
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Nishioka enters the tournament with his protected ranking due to his comeback tournaments only producing a ranking inside the top 180 so far. A quarter final in Cabo and a title in Gimcheon Challenger are the top results for Nishioka, who previously held a career high inside the top 60.
After his surprise loss to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon, Federer returned to the court in Cincinnati. He toughed out a three setter on his way to the finals there before losing in straight sets to Djokovic. It was a bad returning day for the Swiss, who was not happy afterwards. “I don’t even want to look for reasons why it happened. I just think it did. Novak totally deserved to win today. This was not good enough. It’s okay. Good week, but I’m happy it’s over and I need to rest.” he said.
Despite that loss, Federer remains focused on the title he believes his key to his year.
It would mean the world to me,” Federer said. “It’s even a bigger priority this year, the US Open, than it has been last year. Not that it wasn’t last year, but Wimbledon was key for me last year.”
“It would mean the world to me, it’s even a bigger priority this year, the US Open, than it has been last year. Not that it wasn’t last year, but Wimbledon was key for me last year.” Federer said. A clash with Novak is on the cards in round two is a possibility but on this occasion, it will be the qualifier from Austria and not his Serbian rival.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets
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