‘It’s not a bad thing to go through a match like this,’ says Roger Federer after US Open scare

End of the road for Roger Federer?

Roger Federer recovered from a sluggish start against Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal to ease himself into the second round of the US Open.

The 38-year-old, wearing an all-black kit, suffered from a plague of unforced errors in the first set before surprisingly dropping it to a grateful Nagal.

However, the Indian’s ascendancy didn’t last long, with Federer immediately hitting back before hitting cruise control to earn a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win.

“Maybe it’s not a bad thing to go through a match like this. It was very similar at Wimbledon when I dropped the first set there, as well, in the first round,” Federer said after the match.

“At the end you look at the last three sets, and they were good. That’s encouraging.

“I broke every time first game each set. That was good. I think trying to forget the first set is never sort of easy I guess in a first round, under the lights. People expect a different result. I expect something else.

“I just wanted to pick up my game really, start to play better. I was able to do that. That was a relief, going up 3-0 in the second set, realizing that it is in my racket, how I also felt it in the first set.

“The thing is I wasn’t serving consistently enough. I was hitting double-faults that usually I don’t do. Also I was just hitting too many unforced errors. I was in two minds, I guess.”

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Federer’s first-round record at Grand Slams now stands at 62-0 dating back to the 2003 French Open, but he did reserve some praise for 22-year-old Nagal, who he thought simply ran out of belief.

“I thought he was getting a bit down on himself naturally after set two and three. That’s why it was key to stay ahead, and I did,” Federer explained.

“He did a good job to stay with me. I had to close it out. That was a tough last game. Maybe exactly the kind of service game I needed to serve it out.”

Federer, who has qualified for the ATP Finals as a result of this win, will now face Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur in round two.

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