Roger Federer did not have an ideal start to his quest for a sixth US Open title on Monday night. But the third seed has won, and that's what matters.
The five-time champion managed to get past Nagal 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 30 minutes, finishing in 17th place qualifying for the Nitto ATP Final, the season finale in which he won six times.
"I think in a first round under the lights, it's never easy to forget the first sentence, people expect a different outcome, I expect something different," Federer said. "I just really wanted to pick up my game and play better, I could, which was a relief when I stepped on 3-Love in the second set and realized it was on my racket."
Meanwhile, Federer has won his first-round match in 62 games in a row and improved his US Open record to 86-1
His opponent Nagal undoubtedly seized the opportunity opportunity in the biggest match of his career to date. The world's number 190 entered the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday evening to play its first Grand Slam game without ever having won a Tour victory. The 22-year-old, however, showed little fear of Federer, who made 19 easy mistakes when he lost the first set.
"I have not served consistently enough, I've made double mistakes that I do not normally do, and I've just made too many unforeseen mistakes, I'm sure I have two thoughts," Federer said. "It was not a bad thing to do a match like this, it was very similar at Wimbledon when I dropped the first set there in the first round as well, and you end up with the last one they were good three sentences, which is encouraging. "
But Nagal did not prove he had the weapons to take Federer's bat out of his hands. And when the Swiss had found his reach, he rolled downhill on the opening night of the final major of the year.
After beating off three deuces in the first game of the second set, the 38-year-old struggled hard to gain an advantage, converting his fourth breakpoint of the next game to take the lead. Federer quickly extended his lead to 5-0, before completing the 42-minute set as Nagal started a forehand long.
Federer immediately broke off in the next two sets and put constant pressure on the qualifier ATPTour.com announced before the game: "I wanted that, I told my friends yesterday when people told me this Federer Playing a qualifier, I thought how much I've always wanted to. "
Nagal showed his fighting spirit in the fourth set and made a 2-2 setback with a shot from the inside out that shot past Federer. But this year's champions from Dubai, Miami and Halle made another break in the next game as the Indian missed a forehand from the inside out and never looked back. Federer overcame four break points – including a 0-40 deficit – as he worked for the remainder of the game.
The key was Federer's pressure. After reducing his mistakes after the first set, he stayed on Nagal and gained 33/50 net points compared to 7/17 for the qualifier.
"He loves to put pressure on the other guy," Nagal said. "He always makes you think about what he's going to do, and that's how I felt, players I played, I never had that feeling, but what he did so well was that he did it so well So you have to know that the ball is coming back. "
Federer lost one set in his first round match at the US Open only once since 2003 (2017 vs. Tiafoe). The 20-time Grand Slam champion since 2003 Roland Garros has not fallen in the opening round of a Grand Slam.
Damir Dzumhur, who beat French qualifiers Elliot Benchetrit 4: 6, 6: 2, 6: 3 and 6: 0, is expecting the next round. Federer will be confident that he has defeated the triple ATP Tour champion in straight sets at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2015 minutes before #NextGenATP beats the Italian Jannik Sinner with 6-3, 7-6 (4), 4-6 , 6-3.
Sinner, who was close to defeat in the second qualifying round, showed the level that helped him 53 weeks ago to rise from outside the top 1000. But Wawrinka's experience paid off in the big moments, reversing five of his ten break chances over Sinner's 4:14 quota. Former World No. 3 entered Flushing Meadows for the ninth time in a row with 35 winners for the second round.
Wawrinka avoided playing five sets and saved two breakpoints when he dropped the match. The 34-year-old faces Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who passes Winston-Salem Open champion Hubert Hurkacz in 3, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4 and 6 after three and thirteen hours fought protocol. Wawrinka has won all five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Chardy.
The lucky loser Kamil Majchrzak, who represented Milos Raonic in the draw, overtook Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6- 4 in three hours and 40 minutes. The Pole will next face Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, who defeated the American wild card Jack Sock 6: 4, 7: 5, 7: 6 (5).
The Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, who leads the ATP Challenger Tour with four titles this year, beat the Czech Jiri Vesely after 4 hours and 16 minutes with 4: 6, 7: 6 (4), 3: 6, 7: 6 (4), 6: 4. Berankis will try to reach the third round of the US Open against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who takes Guido Pella, 19, in three hours and 13 minutes with 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 unbalanced.