US Open 2019: Roger Federer not concerned with sluggish start to tournament as he registers comeback win in first round

  • Roger Federer recovered from first set loss to beat Sumit Nagal in first round

  • Federer won 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 and clinched his 1,224th career victory

  • Federer will face Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur i second round

New York: Roger Federer suggested his sluggish display in Monday's first-round win over Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal at the US Open was "not a bad thing".

The Swiss third seed, a five-time champion in New York, produced 19 unforced errors to surprisingly drop the first set against a player ranked 190th and without a tour-level win.

 US Open 2019: Roger Federer not concerned with sluggish start to tournament as he registers comeback win in first round

Roger Federer lost the first set to Sumit Nagal before clinching next three sets. AP

The 38-year-old recovered to progress 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 and clinch his 1,224th career victory that set up a meeting with Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur.

"Maybe it's not a bad thing to go through a match like this. It was very similar at Wimbledon when I dropped the first set there, as well, in the first round," said Federer, who lost a five-set epic to Novak Djokovic in last month's final at the All England Club.

"At the end you look at the last three sets, and they were good. That's encouraging."

A dismal first set served as a wake-up call for Federer, who is now 62-0 in Grand Slam first rounds dating back to the 2003 French Open.

"I broke every time first game each set. That was good. I think trying to forget the first set is never sort of easy I guess in a first round, under the lights. People expect a different result. I expect something else," he said.

"I just wanted to pick up my game really, start to play better. I was able to do that. That was a relief, going up 3-0 in the second set, realizing that it is in my racquet, how I also felt it in the first set.

"The thing is I wasn't serving consistently enough. I was hitting double-faults that usually I don't do. Also I was just hitting too many unforced errors. I was in two minds, I guess."

Federer's victory saw him qualify for a record-extending 17th ATP Tour finals appearance, although he wobbled as he served for the match in the fourth set, a struggle reminiscent of last month's Wimbledon final when he squandered two championship points.

"I thought he was getting a bit down on himself naturally after set two and three. That's why it was key to stay ahead, and I did," Federer said.

"You have to get over the finish line. I got that the hard way in Wimbledon. He did a good job to stay with me. I had to close it out. That was a tough last game. Maybe exactly the kind of service game I needed to serve it out."

Updated Date: Aug 27, 2019 10:42:22 IST