Federer, Nadal begin campaign in style

Federer, Nadal begin campaign in style

NEW YORK – World number one Roger Federer and chief rival Rafael Nadal began their march towards a US Open collision with straight-set victories on Wednesday.

Federer hammered Wang Yeu-tzuoo of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 in first-round action on Arthur Ashe Stadium, while second seed Nadal crushed former finalist Mark Philippoussis 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. The duo have contested the last two grand slam finals and are favourites to meet in the championship match on Sept.10.Needing just 100 minutes to advance, Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Federer said it was too early to think about a possible showdown against Nadal in the finals.”I think the draws for both of us are pretty good but the other 126 players will try to not make it happen,” said Federer, who lost to Nadal in the French Open final but beat him at Wimbledon.”I don’t think of playing him right now, not at all, because it’s just too long of a road.Not only I have to get there, but him as well.”A day after rain wiped out nearly all of the scheduled matches, large crowds at Flushing Meadows welcomed the tennis despite gloomy skies and the constant threat of rain.MAURESMO THROUGH In the women’s draw, top seed Amelie Mauresmo completed her rain-suspended first-round match with Kristina Barrois, defeating the 131st-ranked German qualifier 6-1, 7-5.Third seed Maria Sharapova blasted 10 aces and never lost her serve to crush 17-year-old Michaella Krajicek 6-3, 6-0 in just 59 minutes.”That was probably one of the best service displays I’ve had in my career,” said the Russian.Also advancing to the second round were Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian on the men’s side, and Martina Hingis and Serena Williams on the women’s.Federer, gunning for his third straight US Open crown, hit seven aces and kept Wang off balance by winning 90 per cent of his first serve points.”I thought I played pretty well,” said Federer.”Not too many mistakes.I played aggressive, and it worked out.So it was a good match all in all.”Nadal wasted little time hitting his stride, pumping his fist and roaring on each key point against 1998 runner-up Philippoussis, a hard-serving wildcard entry from Australia.Second-ranked Nadal said he was “very happy” with his performance which lasted just over two hours.The Spaniard committed just 10 unforced errors while breaking Philippoussis’s serve once in each set.Nadal, who has never advanced past the third round of the Open, set the tone for the match by breaking Philippoussis in the opening game of the match.BIG SERVE “Philippoussis is a very big server,” said Nadal.”His serve is unbelievable, especially his first serve – sometimes three aces in one game.”But I played an unbelievable first game.That’s important for the confidence.I played my best match for sure in the last three weeks.”Mauresmo opened the day up a set but down 5-2 in the second before winning all five games against an error-prone Barrois to set up a second-round affair against American Meghann Shaughnessy.”I just thought yesterday, and especially in the second set, I was way too much behind my baseline, and so she was able to take control and really hit some great shots,” said Mauresmo.”I didn’t want to let that happen again.”Marat Safin, the 2000 champion, set up an intriguing second-round showdown with Nalbandian after a four-set victory over Czech Robin Vik.Argentine Nalbandian, the fourth seed, was pushed to the distance by German Michael Berrer before prevailing 6-2 in the fifth.Australian Hewitt, Safin’s successor as champion in 2001, eased to a 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 win over Spaniard Albert Montanes.Nampa-ReutersThe duo have contested the last two grand slam finals and are favourites to meet in the championship match on Sept.10.Needing just 100 minutes to advance, Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Federer said it was too early to think about a possible showdown against Nadal in the finals.”I think the draws for both of us are pretty good but the other 126 players will try to not make it happen,” said Federer, who lost to Nadal in the French Open final but beat him at Wimbledon.”I don’t think of playing him right now, not at all, because it’s just too long of a road.Not only I have to get there, but him as well.”A day after rain wiped out nearly all of the scheduled matches, large crowds at Flushing Meadows welcomed the tennis despite gloomy skies and the constant threat of rain. MAURESMO THROUGH In the women’s draw, top seed Amelie Mauresmo completed her rain-suspended first-round match with Kristina Barrois, defeating the 131st-ranked German qualifier 6-1, 7-5.Third seed Maria Sharapova blasted 10 aces and never lost her serve to crush 17-year-old Michaella Krajicek 6-3, 6-0 in just 59 minutes.”That was probably one of the best service displays I’ve had in my career,” said the Russian.Also advancing to the second round were Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian on the men’s side, and Martina Hingis and Serena Williams on the women’s.Federer, gunning for his third straight US Open crown, hit seven aces and kept Wang off balance by winning 90 per cent of his first serve points.”I thought I played pretty well,” said Federer.”Not too many mistakes.I played aggressive, and it worked out.So it was a good match all in all.”Nadal wasted little time hitting his stride, pumping his fist and roaring on each key point against 1998 runner-up Philippoussis, a hard-serving wildcard entry from Australia.Second-ranked Nadal said he was “very happy” with his performance which lasted just over two hours.The Spaniard committed just 10 unforced errors while breaking Philippoussis’s serve once in each set.Nadal, who has never advanced past the third round of the Open, set the tone for the match by breaking Philippoussis in the opening game of the match. BIG SERVE “Philippoussis is a very big server,” said Nadal.”His serve is unbelievable, especially his first serve – sometimes three aces in one game.”But I played an unbelievable first game.That’s important for the confidence.I played my best match for sure in the last three weeks.”Mauresmo opened the day up a set but down 5-2 in the second before winning all five games against an error-prone Barrois to set up a second-round affair against American Meghann Shaughnessy.”I just thought yesterday, and especially in the second set, I was way too much behind my baseline, and so she was able to take control and really hit some great shots,” said Mauresmo.”I didn’t want to let that happen again.”Marat Safin, the 2000 champion, set up an intriguing second-round showdown with Nalbandian after a four-set victory over Czech Robin Vik.Argentine Nalbandian, the fourth seed, was pushed to the distance by German Michael Berrer before prevailing 6-2 in the fifth.Australian Hewitt, Safin’s successor as champion in 2001, eased to a 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 win over Spaniard Albert Montanes.Nampa-Reuters

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