United States, the 30th of August 2010: The 16-time Major Champion powered through his first round match, leaving Dabul and the gathered audience in awe of his resurgent form and domination of center court.
Federer, who run of five successive US titles was cut last year in a five-set thriller against Argentine Juan Martin Del Porto, ensured his progression against Del Porto’s compatriot 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory on Arthur Ashe center court.
The Swiss champion, not renowned for being a showman, closed the dominant performance with a between-the-legs scorcher, reminiscent of a similar shot against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in last years semi-final.
Cheers raining down from the adoring crowd and a stunned Dabul typified the match, Federer bowing in thanks to his fans following his skilful final shot. “I’ve only hit a few in my life and two on center court in night session play here in New York,” the second-seeded Federer said in an on-court interview.
The incredible shot highlighted a bravura performance by Federer, who improved to 16-0 under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium and guaranteed himself a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals.
“I’ve never lost night sessions. I feel very much at home here,” said the 29-year-old Federer. “I always come out and played some good tennis here over the years. I’ve been in six straight finals. I would like to go there again this year. The path is long and rough, we’ll see how it goes. I’m excited to be back and playing well.”
The second-seeded Federer next plays Germany’s Andreas Beck, who beat compatriot Michael Berrer 7-6(3) 6-3 6-1 in straight sets.