US Open 2019: Federer opens campaign with 4-set win, to play Dzumhur in 100th match at the tournament
Five-time champion Roger Federer opened his record-equaling 18th seeded appearance (19th overall) at the US Open with a four-set victory over Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal.
The Swiss was beset by a litany of uncharacteristic unforced errors as he squandered a 2-0 lead to drop the opening set 4-6. That marked only the fourth time in his career that Federer had dropped the first set of his first-round match at Flushing Meadows - after the matches against Wessels on his debut in 2000, Acasuso in 2003 and Tiafoe in 2017.
Despite the hiccup, a first exit in the first round of a Major since the 2003 French Open (against Luis Horna) didn't seem likely for Federer against a player making his Grand Slam main draw debut.
The Swiss struggled to rein in his unforced errors but produced more winners than errors to take a two-sets-to-one lead. The Swiss squandered an early break in the fourth but broke Nagal's serve for the second time in the set to close out a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory.
Federer's 86th match win at the US Open, 11th from a set down, takes him to a 100th match at the tournament - where Bosnian Damir Dzumhur awaits.
Federer would seek a drastic improvement on his 57 unforced errors and 7 double faults (from his first-round match) when he takes on the three-time ATP tour titlist in the second round.
The Swiss is unbeaten in two previous matches against Dzumhur, with both meetings happening at Grand Slam tournaments in 2015 (French Open third-round and Wimbledon first-round respectively).
The 20-time Grand Slam champion would look forward to celebrating his milestone match at the US Open with a win, which.would extend his perfect second-round record at the tournament to 19-0.