Winning Federer not happy with US Open courts

Israel's Sela is up next for the Swiss star, who complains that the US Open courts are slower and now too much like Australia.
After beating Santiago Giraldo, Roger Federer said the US Open organisers have made a mistake in making the courts slower.
After beating Santiago Giraldo, Roger Federer said the US Open organisers have made a mistake in making the courts slower.

NEW YORK // Roger Federer took aim at US Open organisers after an easy win on Monday, cruising past Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, but was more worried about the playing surface than his opponent Wednesday, Israel's Dudi Sela.

The third-seeded Swiss showed he was still eager for more challenges, complaining that organisers, the United States Tennis Association, had made the courts too slow and too similar to those of the Australian Open.

"Did they make a mistake? Maybe they did paint the court a bit too rough. It's just unfortunate that maybe all the slams are too equal," the 16-time major champion said. "They should feel very different to the Australian Open, and now I don't feel it really does."

"The night session just feels like you can take huge cuts at the ball, you can run everything down. It's great for tennis, but I'm not sure if it's really what the game needs.

"The game needs different speed at slams and so forth. I don't feel we quite have that at the moment, especially if the US Open is getting slower."

Federer joined Andre Agassi on 224 wins in singles matches at grand slam tournaments with his victory over Giraldo. Jimmy Connors holds the record at 233.

Serbia's Viktor Troicki was the only seeded player on the men's side to lose on a comfortable opening day in the men's draw.

Winners Tuesday included fifth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain, who dropped a first set but recovered to stop Igor Andreev 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-4; Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, the 11th seed, was a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 winner over Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei; and Sergey Bubka, who beat Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Andy Murray, who begins his quest for his first major title against Somdev Devvarman Wednesday, is hoping changes in his diet will prove the missing piece in the grand slam jigsaw.

Murray is following in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, who went gluten free before embarking on his run of 57 wins from 59 matches this season. Murray is eating a similar diet to Djokovic, and the world No 4 declared he has never felt better, even if it does present a few challenges.

"I'm having a lot more fish and vegetables and trying to have a more balanced diet, rather than just the typical pasta before matches and steaks and chicken," said the Scot. "Breakfast is quite difficult because, normally, I could have bagels and any spreads. And then snacks during the day. Now, rather than having a chocolate bar, I'm having an apple or a banana.

"It's something that, now that I know how I feel, I wish I had been doing it longer. I feel way better. I wake up at 7am now and feel great. Before I would wake up at 9.30 and feel terrible."

Published: August 31, 2011 04:00 AM


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