Roger Federer seemed to be sleepwalking through the first set for a second straight match. But once again, the eight-time US Open champion would wake up in time.
A couple of days after he defeated Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal in four sets, the eight-time US Open champion fell behind Bosnia and Herzegovina's Damir Dzumhur on Wednesday before rallying for the 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win inside an enclosed Arthur Ashe Stadium to secure his spot in the tournament's third round.
“I mean, look, I got exactly what I expcted from both guys. I knew what Nagal was going to give me, I knew what Dzumhur was going to give me. But I didn’t expect to hit 15 to 20 unforced errors, which is basically an entire set just sort of donated,” said Federer. “But look, they came out and they were well-prepared and got me to do that. But I clearly have to play better from the get-go.”
Despite the slow start, Federer rebounded soundly to start the second set and took back the grip on the match. He briskly raced out to a 4-1 lead in the second set, and remained in charge the rest of the way.
After taking the third set, he broke at 1-1 in the fourth set which is the advantage he needed to serve out the match, advancing in two hours and 22 minutes.
“I have been in that position many times where you go through a little phase where you don’t start so well and everybody asks you right away, ‘What are you going to do?’”, said Federer. “Just go back to the drawing board. Just do the same things again. You hope for a better outcome.”
Federer hopes for a faster start when he plays the winner of 25th seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille and Great Britain’s Dan Evans in the third round.