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Federer off to flying start at US Open

sports Updated: Aug 27, 2008 12:40 IST
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Roger Federer began his quest for his fifth consecutive US Open title in stunning fashion with a dominating 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 win over Maximo Gonzalez on Tuesday.

"It was a good match to start off with," Federer said. "I thought I served well and really moved good for the first round. I went on a good roll at one point there."

The second seeded Swiss star lost his world No. 1 ranking last week to Rafael Nadal. He is hoping that another win at Flushing Meadows can salvage a season where he has won just two titles and failed to defend his Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns.

Against Gonzalez, he fired 15 aces and hammered 39 winners on the main Arthur Ashe Stadium court in front of a crowd of about 20,000. He also converted seven of 13 break point opportunities and won 73 percent of his first serves.

"This take a little bit of pressure off me because I know a little more about where my game is at," Federer said. "I have to play more aggressively on hardcourt."

Federer dispatched Argentina's Gonzalez in a scant 82 minutes and advances to the second round where he will face Thiago Alves of Brazil.

"I don't know much about him. I only know what he looks like," Federer said of the Brazilian. "I watched him play a few points on TV today. I expect him to be a similar opponent who plays from the baseline."

Federer suffered a surprising quarter-final loss to journeyman American James Blake in the Beijing Olympic men's singles.

But he managed to turn a negative into a positive by winning the gold medal in doubles with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.

Federer said winning gold in the Summer Games has rekindled his passion for the game.

"The Olympic gold in doubles gave me a great lift," Federer said. "It really inspired me and I hope to use that to do well here.

"It is a special memory. It was unbelievable to listen to the national anthem and share that moment with my friend."

Federer, who has reached the semi-finals or better in 17 straight majors, remains two Grand Slam titles shy of tying Pete Sampras' all-time record of 14.