NEWYORK (Reuters) – Roger Federer made light of energy-sapping conditions to brush past Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2 6-2 6-4 in his opening match at the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
Where other players had slogged through long rallies as the temperature hit 90 Fahrenheit (32C), Federer kept his time on court to a minimum with a masterclass of serve-and-volley tennis, pulling the industrious world number 177 from one side of the court to the other at will.
Federer, the second seed, broke the Japanese lefthander in the opening game of the one-sided encounter and never looked back, rattling through his service games with a minimum of fuss to wrap up the first set in 28 minutes.
The Swiss took 35 minutes to close out the second and, with Nishioka firmly on the ropes, started the third by racing to a 4-0 lead before his Japanese opponent held serve.
Nishioka rallied briefly at the end, denying Federer the chance to serve out the set and battling back to 5-4 with his first break of serve.
But Federer put his beleaguered opponent out of his misery in his next service game, wrapping up the victory in one hour and 52 minutes.
Next up for the Swiss is a second-round clash with unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings; Editing by Peter Rutherford)