Federer eases into second round; others toil in heat

Tue Sep 1, 2015 5:41pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger Federer glided to victory on another hot, steamy day at the U.S. Open, the envy of a clutch of men's players made to work overtime on Tuesday at the season's final grand slam.

Federer, who has been in sizzling form since reaching the Wimbledon finals, dashed past 34th-ranked Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-1 6-2 6-2 to launch his campaign for a sixth U.S. Open crown and first slam title since the 2012 Wimbledon.

"I got off to a good start and he was a bit shaky. I was very happy," said Federer. "My serve got better and better as the match went on. Conditions are fast, so I was trying to play fast-court tennis and it worked very well today."

The 34-year-old Swiss, looking cool in the 90-plus degree heat after his light, first-round exertions, next faces either Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus or Belgian Steve Darcis.

Others were sorely tested.

Three players in the bottom half of the men's draw had to go the distance in the severe heat at Flushing Meadows, including French 11th seed Gilles Simon, who looked to have iced victory after taking a 6-2 6-4 3-0 lead over American Donald Young.

But the Frenchman stumbled, and the 26-year-old American, once hailed as the next great U.S. player, saw an opportunity and turned the match upside down for a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-4 win.

"I really had it on my racquet," said Simon. "I was not able to do anything on the tennis court. I think Donald realized it and then played what he had to play to take me down in five sets. It's a terrible result for me today."   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland holds a handful of tennis balls before hitting them towards fans after defeating Leonardo Mayer of Argentina in their first round match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 1, 2015.    REUTERS/Carlo Allegri