Roger Federer says there was plenty of room for improvement on his shaky first-round win over Sumit Nagal at the US Open on Monday. The Swiss is looking to claim a record sixth men’s singles title at Flushing Meadows and had been expected to make light work of his Indian opponent, who has never won a tour-level match and had to come through qualifying to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time.
However, Nagal caused a stir by taking the first set, Federer making 19 unforced errors as he came stuttering out of the blocks. The setback was only momentary as the 38-year-old quickly restored parity, breaking his opponent twice to level the match before moving through the gears as he recorded a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4.
Federer, who will take on Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina in round two, tried to take the positives from his tough opener but admitted he would need to raise his game if he wants to add a 21st Grand Slam title to his CV. “I just tried to forget the first set, play tough and stay with him,” said Federer.
“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. “I was able to clear that a little bit. Maybe it’s not a bad thing to go through a match like this.”
World No.1 Novak Djokovic enjoyed a more straight-forward to his US Open campaign as he overcame Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-1 6-4. Fellow seeds Daniil Medvedev and Kei Nishikori were also victorious in the first round on Monday.