/ Tennis

Federer makes smooth progress at Flushing Meadows

Updated: Thursday, 01 Sep 2011 21:32

Former world number one Roger Federer
Former world number one Roger Federer

Roger Federer cruised through to the third round of the US Open with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Dudi Sela at Flushing Meadows on Thursday afternoon.

The world number three had been a little erratic in his first-round win over Santiago Giraldo, blaming the slow courts in the night session, but playing in the heat of the day on Arthur Ashe Stadium today he had no such problems.

The 30-year-old was particularly impressive on his serve, dropping only seven points during the match and never giving Sela a sniff of a break.

That piled the pressure on the Israeli to hold onto his serve, and it was a test he could not pass.

The world number 93 has a stylish one-handed backhand but not the power to trouble a player like Federer.

The five-time former US Open champion broke for the first time in the sixth game and two breaks each in the second and third sets allowed him to clinch victory after only 77 minutes.

Federer said: "I had not much trouble on my serve, and from the baseline I also thought I had the upper hand. When it's like that, obviously it's tough for the opponent, but I just think I was superior today.

"It was a good match for me in breezy conditions. It was a bit tricky early on to find the rhythm. That's why I was happy to get the first break in the first set."

Federer still made 25 unforced errors - three more than his opponent - despite the one-sided scoreline, but he considered the 30 winners more important.

He said: "I quickly realised I actually had a good rhythm on my serve. So from that standpoint it was normal to make errors.

"I don't go into a match telling myself more than 10 errors is a terrible match because I expect myself to hit errors because I know I will hit a lot of winners, too. It all matters when they happen."

Federer will face either 27th seed Marin Cilic or rising Australian star Bernard Tomic in round three, and the Swiss is hoping it will be 18-year-old Tomic who comes through.

He said: "I think I'd like to play Bernard for the first time because I've never played him before. I like playing the new generation coming up.

"I played (Ryan) Harrison at the beginning of the season in Indian Wells, and then I practised with (Grigor) Dimitrov, (Milos) Raonic, (Richard) Berankis, all those new guys coming through. I've never actually hit with Tomic before so that would be nice."

Federer, meanwhile, gave his support to Venus Williams after her diagnosis of Sjogren's Syndrome, which she announced yesterday following her withdrawal from the tournament.

"At least if she knows what it is, it's a bit comforting," said Federer. "At least you know where to go from here, but it's terrible timing.

"I can only wish her the best. She's been a great player, a great champion. Hopefully she'll stay around for the women's game for a long time still."

Ninth seed Tomas Berdych was also a man in a hurry, the former Wimbledon finalist beating Fabio Fognini of Italy 7-5 6-0 6-0.

There were seeded casualties, though, Michael Llodra crashing 6-1 6-2 6-2 to giant South African Kevin Anderson while Radek Stepanek became the 15th player at the tournament to withdraw, the Czech pulling out when 6-4 6-1 2-0 down to Juan Monaco.

Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, seeded 20th, saw off Philipp Petzschner 6-0 6-3 3-6 6-3 while veteran German Tommy Haas defeated Alejandro Falla 7-6 (7/5) 6-1 7-5.

Live!