19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer rebounded strongly after a shaky start to clinch a thrilling five-set win over 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe in the opening round of the US Open on Wednesday.
Federer, who is a five-time US Open champion and currently seeded third in the ongoing tournament, got broken in the first game and dropped the opening set, and then appeared to take control of the match before again letting a lead slip away.
The Swiss maestro, however, broke serve in the last game to eventually edge past Tiafoe 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in a topsy-turvy first-round clash of the men’s singles event that lasted two hours and 40 minutes at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
It was for the first time that Federer has taken five sets in the first round at Flushing Meadows since making debut against Peter Wessels in 2000.
Meanwhile, Federer’s 79th US Open match win has tied him in second place with Andre Agassi, behind only Jimmy Connors on 98.
He will now cross swords against either Slovenian Blaz Kavcic or Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the second round.