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Federer Wins Meeting Of 30-Somethings

New York, U.S.A.

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer improves to a 23-0 mark in US Open night sessions.

Mere hours after the newly turned 30 Andy Roddick announced he would be retiring, 31-year-old Roger Federer defeated 32-year-old Bjorn Phau 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday night at the US Open.

"A bit of a shock to be honest," Federer said of Roddick’s retirement in a pre-match interview on ESPN. "I thought maybe he was going to get past this US Open and maybe play one more year, so obviously a disappointment, but I think big celebrations for him because he’s had a wonderful career. He told me one hour before the press conference and he seemed extremely happy and at peace and excited, so I wish him the best US Open he’s ever had."

The World No. 1 and five-time US Open champion showed no signs of slowing down in his second-round match, as he improved to a 23-0 record in the night session at Flushing Meadows. Federer struck 44 winners and broke Phau five times from 12 opportunities to clinch the victory in 90 minutes - four minutes shorter than his first-round match against American Donald Young.

"Great opponent who was also ready to do some shot making," said Federer. "It's a long time, it was obviously going to be fair, tough, and nice. But I enjoyed it, like I always do, particularly the night sessions here in New York."

The two had first faced off in 1999 in Washington, D.C., where Phau defeated a 19-year-old Federer in straight sets. The Swiss has now won their past three meetings.

"I remember going to a Futures [tournament] in Greece, spending some time with him there," said Federer. "I think we were both waiting for lucky losers at one point. He got in and I didn't because he was ahead of me in the rankings. Here we are on centre court at the US Open. It's quite amazing. I'm glad we both got the opportunity to experience something like we did tonight."

Federer, who won a record-tying 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati on the eve of the US Open, has not dropped a set in seven matches, losing serve just once in that span.

He will next play Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, whom he has beaten in all four of their previous meetings. The 25th-seeded Verdasco secured his place in the third round with a hard-fought 7-6(4), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over countryman Albert Ramos.

The 28-year-old Verdasco, a former World No. 7, reached the US Open quarter-finals in 2009 (l. to Djokovic) and ’10 (l. to Nadal). 

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