All present players of the Big Four are through to the second round of the 2012 U.S. Open. The lone exclusion, of course, is Rafael Nadal, who has not been seen on a competitive tennis court since being upset in the second round of this year’s Wimbledon Championships.
Here’s a look at how the three favorites fared in their first-round matches:
No. 1 Roger Federer
The Swiss Maestro drew the struggling American Donald Young for his first-round match. Federer, in his sleek, new navy blue outfit, cruised past Young 6-3, 6-2, 6-4—a scoreline that indicates the match was much more competitive than it actually was.
Federer was hardly troubled in his opening match, but it’s still a shame to see Young go out in the first round after finally ending his 17-match losing streak last week. Federer will be happy to improve to 22-0 in night matches at the U.S. Open and, more importantly, he’ll be happy that he’s through to the second round.
The 31-year-old dropped one service game and shanked a couple of backhands, but that’s minor reason for concern for the World No. 1. Federer will be looking to improve and play his best tennis during the second week of the tournament when it really matters.
Up next for the Federer Express is fellow 30-and-over club member Bjorn Phau.
No. 2 Novak Djokovic
Djokovic shook off an early break and went on to crush Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.
The World No. 2 had a disappointing summer and will be happy to be back on the courts of Flushing Meadows where he dominated the competition at last year’s Open. He will need to be in this kind of devastating form if rematches with Murray or Federer ensue in the later rounds.
Djokovic’s second-round opponent will be Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva.
No. 3 Andy Murray
Andy Murray had a great summer at the All England Club—making the final at Wimbledon and winning the gold medal at the London Olympics—but he suffered a bit of a hangover during the post-Olympic hard-court swing.
Back on the courts of New York, Murray earned a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 win over Alex Bogomolov Jr. in his first-round match.
Murray got off to a slow start in his opener and struggled particularly on his service games, having dropped serve four times before closing out the match in two hours and 15 minutes.
Murray will have to rediscover the form that won him Olympic gold by next week if he is to win his elusive first Grand Slam title.
Murray will next face Croatian Ivan Dodig when second-round matches begin on Wednesday.