Ruthless Roger Federer storms to US Open second round

Roger Federer looked in fine form as he powered to the second round at the US Open at Flushing Meadows last night.

The Swiss star wasted no time in seeing off Argentinean Leonardo Mayer in their first-round time, winning the first five games before cruising to a straight-sets win in 77 minutes 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Federer will now face Marcos Baghdatis or Steve Darcis.

Romanian second seed Simona Halep followed the same express path into the second round of the US Open as Serena Williams, advancing 6-2 3-0 after New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic retired with a knee injury yesterday.

The in-form Halep, who reached the finals at US Open tune-up events in Toronto and Cincinnati, barely broke a sweat on a sunny Arthur Ashe Stadium court, needing 47 minutes to see off the 99th ranked New Zealander.

Top seed Williams, bidding to complete a calendar sweep of the four grand slams, advanced in similar fashion as she was up 6-0 2-0 when Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko was forced to retire hurt.

While the top two women’s seeds steered clear of trouble, upsets continued up and down the women’s draw for a second consecutive day as sixth seed and French Open finalist Lucie Safarova fell 6-4 6-1 to Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko.

With the loss, Safarova joins a number of first-round casualties that already includes Serbian seventh seed Ana Ivanovic, eighth seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova and 10th-seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.

“I wasn’t surprised (by the upsets), it is normal,” said 23-year-old Halep. “Everyone is fighting like crazy because it’s the last grand slam (of the year). When you play the grand slam you have just to give everything you have.”

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