US Open: Federer ousts teen Tiafoe in five-set thriller

Buoyed by a two-week break Roger Federer ready for US Open challenge

"I really struggled early on".

Tiafoe took advantage as Federer dropped a set in his first-round match at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2003.

However, the 19-time Grand Slam victor roared back to grab the second and third sets 6-2, 6-1 respectively.

It was Tiafoe who cracked first in a tense finale, but the drama continued as Federer failed to convert a match point when 5-3 up, before going on to be broken back by the world number 70. I think Frances connected well.

"I'm very happy how I'm feeling right now, how I felt coming off the court".

"Obviously I'm not satisfied", he said. "In the fifth it's a coin toss and it went my way tonight".

With the men's draw ravaged by injuries, Federer's decision to skip the entire claycourt season looks inspired, although Tuesday's match will reveal if he has fully recovered from the back injury that forced him to withdraw from the Cincinnati Open a couple of weeks ago. "So I believe this is going to give me great confidence in the body and also in my game because preparation was a big compromise".

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With showers halting play on the outside courts, Nadal and Federer at least had the comfort of knowing that they would begin under the Ashe roof later Tuesday. "I was not able to hear the ball when hitting".

Federer and Tiafoe shake hands after the match.

It was Federer's first match in NY since 2015, after he missed last year's US Open because of his knee injury.

Federer, one of the most popular players in Tennis will be standing up the other end and is always a crowd favourite.

Federer made an early break in the decider and went on to serve for the match at 5-3, only for Tiafoe to save a match point and then break serve with a superb forehand pass down the line.

Federer to blitz through to the second round in an easy straight set drubbing.

Still he could not shake off Tiafoe, the teenager breaking back when Federer served for the match, but holding his own serve proved one challenge too far. Rafael Nadal got his campaign off to a reasonable start, beating the 27-year-old Serb Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-2 in two and a quarter hours.

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