Federer's slam dunk win earns Jordan approval

Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:58pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger Federer launched his bid for an 18th grand slam title with a workmanlike 6-3 6-4 7-6 (4) win over Marinko Matosevic to ease into the second round of the U.S. Open on Tuesday, with NBA great Michael Jordan leading the cheering.

A five-time U.S. Open champion, Federer never appeared threatened by Matosevic but the 76th ranked Australian still forced the Swiss maestro to work up a sweat in front of an enthusiastic center court crowd.

Dressed all in black, Federer broke his opponent once in each set but in the third Matosevic finally broke back forcing it to a tie-break, which the Swiss won 7-4 by clinching the final three points.

Federer can count some of the world's great athletes as his biggest supporters, golfer Tiger Woods among those who have made the trip to Flushing Meadows to watch the 17-time grand slam winner.

But Tuesday's first round match was something special for the 33-year, who finally got the chance to meet his childhood hero and Nike stablemate.

"He (Jordan) was just my hero of all sports," said Federer, who will next meet another Australian Sam Groth.

"That's what he was for me growing up. "Besides (Stefan) Edberg and (Boris) Becker being my tennis idols, I had Jordan as my all sports idol.

"I just remember when I was younger; in Germany it was really big on the German TV stations.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Marinko Matosevic of Australia following their men's singles match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York August 26, 2014.   REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton