Only two men’s matches were completed amidst the rains on Tuesday at the US Open — perhaps the two most important where fans are concerned, as No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Roger Federer moved into the second round.
Nadal was a straight-set winner over Serb Dusan Lajovic 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-2.
“At the beginning of the match, he played well. I didn’t,” said Nadal, who saw Lajovic serve for the first set at 5-4. “That’s part of the nerves a little bit, and you need to win matches, no?”
Nadal had more unforced errors to winners during the match.
“I have been playing well during the whole season, and I really had a very positive week of practice here,” said Nadal. “So I am confident I am ready to play much better than what I did today, and I believe that I gonna do it.”
While Nadal struggled initially, Federer had his hands full for five sets in the final night match, eventually overcoming American Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
Federer led with a break in the fifth, but failed to serve it out at 5-3. But the Swiss broke immediately after to take the match.
“I think in many ways people were hoping for a good battle between the #NextGen and somebody established like myself,” said Federer who is 16-0 in US Open first round matches. “In many ways also it felt like people were happy to see me again after missing last year. I felt like the energy was in the building.
“They were very excited about seeing me back on the court, especially after the year that I’ve had. They seemed like really a good crowd, crowd support for both players.”
Federer improved to 35-1 career against Americans after fending off the 19 year old, and appeared to put behind him the back issues that hobbled him in the Canadian Open final and forced him to pull out of Cincinnati.
“It was more than a test,” Federer said afterwards. “It was a good one.”
Federer improves to 4-0 in first set matches in 2017 and 15-0 in Majors.
Tiafoe suffered his second straight 5-set first round loss at the US Open after falling to John Isner last year.
“I felt like when I was playing well, I was controlling most of the rallies,” Tiafoe said. “When I was hitting the ball big, he wasn’t really doing much except staying steady with me. If I stepped back a little bit, he took that and ran with it. That’s what he did. He won by the skin of his teeth.”
At the net, Federer offered some encouraging words to the teen.
“‘Great year so far’,” Tiafoe said of his conversation at the net. “‘You’re only getting better and better. Keep going, you’re going to have one hell of a future.'”
Matches to look for on the rain-backed-up Wednesday at Flushing Meadows include (8) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (Q) Denis Shapovalov, (14) Nick Kyrgios vs. John Millman in an all-Aussie, (14) Alexander Zverev vs. Borna Coric, (16) Lucas Pouille vs. Jared Donaldson, (23) Mischa Zverev vs. Benoit Paire, (20) Al Ramos-Vinolas vs. (Q) Nicolas Mahut, and (28) Kevin Anderson vs. Ernests Gulbis.
Former champions Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro are also in action.
WEDNESDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM 11:00 AM
Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) vs. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)
Not Before: 1:00 PM
Henri Laaksonen (SUI) vs. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 
Timea Babos (HUN) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Oceane Dodin (FRA) vs. Venus Williams (USA) 
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)  vs. Denis Shapovalov (CAN)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG STADIUM 11:00 AM
Elina Svitolina (UKR)  vs. Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-0 6-6(2-1)
John Millman (AUS) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 
Alison Riske (USA) vs. CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) 
Hyeon Chung (KOR) vs. John Isner (USA) 
Not Before: 4:00 PM
Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Kyle Edmund (GBR)
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