Roger Federer has started his US Open with a quick victory over Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Third seed Federer, who turned 30 earlier this month, completed a clockwork 6-4 6-3 6-2 win over 56th-ranked Colombian Santiago Giraldo to the delight of the Flushing Meadows night crowd.
The 106-minute sweep was the first step in Federer’s quest to add to his grand slam record of 16 men’s singles titles with a sixth US Open crown.
A sixth title in New York would also break his tie with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras for the most since tennis turned professional in 1968.
“It was a great atmosphere, great ovation when I walked out,” said Federer, a favourite of the New York crowds. “I really enjoyed it.
It’s always one of those moments I guess you train for ... the first night at the US Open.”
Federer had little trouble disposing of clay court specialist Giraldo but the Swiss was not at his precision best, committing 35 unforced errors.
He looked shaky on serve-and-volley points by winning just one of six, while cashing in on 23 of 37 advances to the net.
Federer said the new surface at Flushing Meadows played slower than before and that he consciously had decided to work on coming to the net in the match.