Federer cruises into second round at US Open | sports | Hindustan Times
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Federer cruises into second round at US Open

sports Updated: Sep 01, 2009 08:13 IST
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World number one Roger Federer began his quest for a sixth consecutive US Open title by defeating US teen Devin Britton 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 in a first-round match on Monday.

The Swiss superstar advanced in 88 minutes to a second-round match against Germany's 65th-ranked Simon Greul, who outlasted 182nd-ranked Ecuadoran qualifier Giovanni Lapentti 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (11/9).

Federer won 12 of the first 13 points, holding serve twice on his way to a 3-0 lead after only five minutes.

Britton, an 18-year-old US wild card who lost his only prior top-level match last month at Indianapolis, was outclassed from the start.

The 1,370th-ranked US college champion dropped the first set in 18 minutes, battled back in the second and broke Federer in the seventh game of the final set only to have Federer break back twice, claiming the match with the second on a crosscourt forehand winner.

Federer completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in June and set an all-time record with his 15th Slam title in July at Wimbledon.

Federer, a semi-finalist in each of the past 21 Grand Slam events, has won 61 career titles and nearly 50 million dollars in prize money, taking trophies at Madrid and Cincinnati this year in addition to his two Slam crowns.

After reclaiming the top ranking from Rafael Nadal with his Wimbledon title, Federer can keep the top spot by reaching the US Open's round of 16. An earlier exit opens the door for Nadal or Britain's Andy Murray to become number one.

Top seed Federer improved to 48-7 this year and 46-4 in career US Open matches. Federer has not lost a match on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts since 2003, when David Nalbandian beat him in the fourth round.

Not since 1920s American star Bill Tilden ran off the modern-day Slam record of six wins in a row from 1920 through 1925 at the US event has any player dominated a major tennis championship the way Federer has owned the US Open.

Only four defending Slam champions have lost in the first round in the Open era, injured Australian Pat Rafter in 1999 being the only one at a US Open.