Roger Federer was victorious if not entirely convincing in a 6-4 6-3 6-2 first-round win over Colombia's Santiago Giraldo at the US Open tonight.
The five-time former champion began the match looking unstoppable, powering winners off both wings past Giraldo, and in a little over 20 minutes he had moved 5-1 ahead.
But Federer struggles to find the consistency of old these days and he inexplicably dropped his serve twice in succession, the second time to love, before pulling himself together to take the first set.
The second was more of the same, with Federer, who made 35 unforced errors in the match, getting off to a flying start, being broken back, and then pulling away again.
Despite the third seed's wobbles, Giraldo never seemed likely to pose more than a passing threat, and in the third set Federer was totally in control, moving into a 4-0 lead and this time holding onto his serve to clinch victory in an hour and 46 minutes.
The 30-year-old next faces Israel's Dudi Sela, a five-set winner over Thomaz Bellucci today.