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Federer Cruises Into Rd 2; Berdych, Querrey Advance

New York, U.S.A.

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer claimed his 65th win at the US Open.

Roger Federer opened his bid for a sixth US Open title on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Grega Zemlja. The match had been put back after being rained off Monday evening, but Federer was unperturbed, claiming his 65th win at Flushing Meadows in one hour and 33 minutes.

"I decided to play aggressive. By doing that, didn't have many rallies," said Federer. "It was more of a serving contest, so there wasn't much rhythm out there, but I was happy the way I played overall. It's a first round after all. There was a bit of a breeze. Should have played at night. Played during the day. Overall I'm pleased to be in the next round."

The Swiss dominated proceedings, suffering just one mishap when he dropped serve in the eighth game of the third set. He quickly regrouped and broke Zemlja again in the 11th game before serving out victory.

Federer is making a record-tying 56th straight appearance at a major, equalling the mark established by South African Wayne Ferreira, and is looking to reclaim the US Open title he won five consecutive times between 2004-08. It would be his 18th Grand Slam championship victory.

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He goes on to face Argentine Carlos Berlocq, who battled past Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2. The World No. 7 said he knew Berlocq's game well, having trained with him in Rome and Madrid. "He's got good intensity, forehand and backhand," he said. "Can play on the baseline. He's actually really improved a lot on the slower hard courts. This is maybe a tiny bit faster. If we play at night, I think it might suit him a little better."

Federer won their one previous meeting, last year on clay in Rome, and will look to avoid a repeat of the shock second-round loss he endured at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky two months ago at Wimbledon. Indeed, Stakhovsky was beaten in the first round at Flushing Meadows, losing to Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

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New World No. 5 Tomas Berdych made a confident start, dismissing Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 43 minutes. The Czech hit 36 winners and broke his opponent eight times to set up a second-round clash with American Denis Kudla, who defeated Jiri Vesely 6-2, 6-2, 6-7(6), 7-5.

The 27-year-old Berdych has a 41-16 match record on the season and is coming off a semi-final showing in Cincinnati, where he beat Andy Murray before losing to Rafael Nadal. The right-hander, who finished runner-up at Wimbledon in 2010 (l. to Nadal), reached the US Open semi-finals last year, knocking out Federer in the quarter-finals before succumbing to eventual champion Murray.

Tommy Haas also started well, defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 34 minutes. Playing in his 16th US Open, the 35-year-old Haas is looking to reach the quarter-finals for the fourth time.

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American No. 26 seed Sam Querrey needed four sets to get by Guido Pella 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. “I felt good out there, best I felt all summer,” said Querrey, who notched his 23rd win of the year. “I couldn't get a break point in the first two sets, which was frustrating. But I was putting a lot of pressure on his serve and played a good tie-break. Third and fourth sets maybe he got a little tired and I kind of started to run away with it.”

Fellow American Donald Young, who qualified for the main draw, completed a 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 rout of Slovakian Martin Klizan in one hour and 20 minutes. Young saved all nine break points faced, while capitalising on eight of his 13 opportunities.

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