Roger Federer secured his spot in the second round of the US Open on Monday with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Indian world No. 190 Sumit Nagal.
The Swiss third seed, a five-time champion in New York, produced 19 unforced errors to surprisingly drop the first set against a player without a tour-level win.
But the 38-year-old bounced back to clinch his 1,224th career victory and book a meeting with Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.
“I played like my beard today. I was rusty,” Federer said.
The shock first set was a wake-up call―a 38-year-old legend who was 61-0 in Grand Slam first rounds since the 2003 French Open trailing a 22-year-old from New Delhi who is ranked 190th and fell to 0-5 in tour-level matches.
“Just tried to forget it, play tough, stay with him. It was a tough first set for me,” Federer said. “He came back and played really strong. I was missing a lot of balls and trying to cut back on unforced errors.
“It all came back just in time.”
Australian second seed Barty likewise overcame a horrible start to oust 80th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Barty made 19 unforced errors to drop the first set in 28 minutes, but took nine of the last 11 games to book a date with American Lauren Davis.
Pliskova, a 2016 US Open runner-up, edged 138th-ranked Czech compatriot Tereza Martincova 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) after exchanging service breaks over the first six games.
“Not my best performance,” Pliskova said. “Not happy that I lost three breaks of serve in a row.”
Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, an ATP winner at Cincinnati, beat India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in 85 minutes. He faces Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien next.
“I can’t say I’m feeling amazing about my game but to win by that score in the first round is great,” Medvedev said.
Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, won 6-1, 4-1, when Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti retired with a back injury.
“I’m happy with the way I played,” said Nishikori, who gets American Bradley Klahn next.