Roger Federer will hope to have an easier time on court than in round one when he takes on Damir Dzumhur in the second round of the US Open. The five time champion needed four sets to advance on Monday but will hope for a routine match ahead of tougher tests to come against the likes of David Goffin and Lucas Pouille.
Federer had a slow start against Sumit Nagal on Monday, losing the first set before cruising to a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 win against the Indian. Despite breaking early, he would still lose the opener in a decidedly rusty first set performance. Once Federer found his rhythm, that was that as the Swiss broke early in each of the next three sets to ease to victory. Despite being far from his best, he wasn’t too concerned afterwards. “I wasn’t serving consistently enough. I was hitting double faults that usually I don’t do. Also I was just hitting too many unforced errors. I was in two minds, I guess,” Federer said. “I was able to clear that a little bit. Maybe it’s not a bad thing to go through a match like this. It was very similar at Wimbledon when I dropped the first set there as well in the first round. At the end you look at the last three sets, and they were good. That’s encouraging.”
Dzumhur dealt well with one of the weaker opponents in the draw, dispatching qualifier Elliot Bencherit in four sets 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-0. The Bosnian will have welcomed the opportunity to get a slam win for the first time in five attempts having lost in the opening round at all four slams in the past year before this. He was a top 30 player this time last year but has found it tough to match this time round and was on the verge of falling out of the top 100 before the tournament.
It will be Dzumhur’s third slam match against Federer, having lost twice to him in 2015. Both those wins came in straight sets with Federer dropping serve just once across the pair of matches. While Dzumhur is a relatively good returner, he is once again going to find it tough if the 3rd seed is finishing points early often.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets