America’s Devin Britton may be the best collegiate player in the land, but he received a rare lesson yesterday from the best tennis player to ever grace the courts. Roger Federer did his thing in an 88-minute 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 taming of the NCAA Champion.
Federer shook off the cobwebs and let his supporters see just enough before exiting in anticipation of his second round match with Juan Ignacio Chela. Once Britton got his feet underneath him, he played to his potential and will doubtless be back a more experienced and less nervous opponent.
In the last match of the day, fifth seeded Andy Roddick stormed past German Bjorn Phau 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Roddick showed the fitness and form that have led to his revitalization. Roddick looks to be a tough out in this event and with his huge fan base pushing hard, watch out for the upsets.
German Tommy Haas thrives on early match drama. He racked up another tense four set first round win with a stirring 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over Alejandro Falla. Haas looked tentative and will need steadier play to overcome his second round opponent Robert Kendrick of the U.S.
Kendrick played well in London but was more impressive on Monday. The hard serving youngster was never threatened en route to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Arguello Martin Vassallo. Look for Kendrick to surprise the 20th seeded Haas.
Lleyton Hewitt played hard in a 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Thiago Alves. Hewitt seems poised for a third round battle with Federer and looks forward to a better showing than in London.
Meanwhile, American James Blake seemed tentative at times but held on to win a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 match with Hidalgo Ruben Ramirez. Seeded 21st, Blake has not had his best year. New York fans are hoping some hometown cooking will settle his woeful serve.
Eight seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia worked his way past Dieter Kindlmann of Germany with a hard earned 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 triumph. Davydenko looks to have a relatively easy path to the quarters.
Many of the game’s biggest names take the court on Tuesday. So far, no upsets at the U.S. Open.
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