Roger Federer Overcomes a Second Slow Start to Reach US Open Third Round, Elina Svitolina Beats Venus Williams
(August 28, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Another slow start for five-time winner Roger Federer on day three of the US Open on Wednesday. The No. 3 player in the world dropped the first set in beating No. 99 Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the third round. The Swiss also dropped the opening set in his first-round match.
“I don’t think there is per se a secret to a good start other than warming up well, being well-prepared mentally,” Federer said in his news conference. “Not underestimating your opponent. I did all of that. You know me, I will always do that.
“So when it happens like this back-to-back matches, you know, it’s just a bit frustrating more than anything, especially when the level is that low and there is that many errors and the energy is not kind of there.”
“I mean, look, I got exactly what I expected from both guys,” the 38-year-old Swiss added. “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 in the entire set just sort of donated.
“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.”
Federer was asked about his return to the players council.
“Being back on the council is good because I get all the information, ” he said. I think that is important for me to give a proper opinion. It also brings Novak, Rafa, and me closer together, naturally, to be in a room. But then also away from it, we can’t prepare for meetings like amateurs and just not talk to each other and then walk up to the meetings and just, like, So what’s going on? And start taking decisions and voting and then it gets personal.
“So we need to be well prepared, and for that we need to meet and talk, and we will do that moving forward. But I thought the first meeting was pretty good. It was okay.”
Kei Nishkori had some problems closing out his match against American Bradley Klahn. The seventh seed, from Japan, blew a 5-1 lead in the fourth set, but prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“The set I lost — well, second and fourth sets, I think I started playing a little bit not defensive but I didn’t play aggressive as like first or third set,” he said to media. “That cost me a set. And also fourth set he almost came back. He was serving great in some of the moments. Some of the moment he wasn’t making first serve and I able to break his game.
“But when he’s on a roll he was serving, you know, pretty good, first and second serve. So that was not easy to return.
“But, I mean, overall I think played good tennis. Some of the moments I think I didn’t play well.”
“Of course it’s better to win straight sets in, you know, one or two hours. Yeah, today I learned couple things.”
Elina Svitolina, the fifth seed knocked out former two-time US Open champion Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“Always when I face her, it’s always a challenge because she always — you don’t know what to expect,“ said Svitolina. “She always fights. She never gives you, you know — you have to earn. You have to earn almost every point. You have to step up your game. If you give her short ball she always takes it on. So you have to be aware.
“And playing every point, that’s, I think, what is challenging to play against her. And obviously we could see when it was 3-5, you know, she really stepped up. Went for her second serves. Maybe I was not expecting a little bit. So, you know, you have to use your experience to stay in the match. I think I played very solid in the end to close the match.”
“She always plays extremely well against me,” said Williams. “She can keep that form up and she’s got a lot of great things ahead of her. I think there are probably a lot of matches that are winnable for her that she hasn’t been able to win. But against me, she plays extremely well.
“You know, she keeps that up, then she’s clearly extremely talented and just can continue to go higher.”
Following the Svitolina-Williams match, 2017 finalist Madison Keys came back from a break down in the first set to stop Lin Zhu of China 6-4, 6-1 in 69 minutes.
“I think I maybe started a little bit slow,” Keys said. “I think some of that was just getting used to her and how she was playing. But I feel like after I got broken in the first set, I feel like I played some really good tennis. I was really happy with my performance today.”
Former US Open finalist and third seed Karolina Pliskova beat Republic of Georgia qualifier Mariam Bolkvadze 6-1, 6-4 in 66 minutes to open play in Artur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.
It had been raining most of the day in Flushing Meadows, so the Czech felt very fortunate to be able to play on a court with a roof.
“Yeah, of course lucky that I could play there, because now everybody is going to maybe start at 4:00,” Pliskova said to media. “That’s perfect. I was also able to maybe warm up on the center court under the roof which kind of helped because I felt it was quite different compared to play outdoor.
“I played couple times already with the roof and on the center court, so I thought it’s quite noisy still. So it was last year and the year before, as well. That’s how it is. You have some time to get used to it. I was there maybe about an hour or maybe a little more. I thought I did well.
“You cannot change these things, so I just thought I just got used to it and it was fine.”
Next up for the Czech will be the winner between Ons Jabeur and Aliaksandra Sasnovich. “They have to still wait today and maybe they’re not going to even get on court. I don’t know what’s the forecast,” Pliskova said.
“Of course I played Sasnovich I think once or twice. Jabeur I’m not sure if I played, but I know quite a lot because they are similar age as me. I remember a little bit from juniors and Kristyna played with them. So somehow I just feel like I know them little more than I did those two opponents which I had right now. That kind of helps sometimes. At least you have some feeling about them and about the game.”
“So yeah, I think it’s going to be for them tough, and of course not an easy match for me.”
More to follow…..