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US Open 2015: Roger Federer v Leonardo Mayer – live!

US Open 2015: Roger Federer v Leonardo Mayer – live!

Email niall.mcveigh@theguardian.com or tweet @niallmcveigh Rafael Nadal marches into second round Andy Murray heads for clash with Nick Kyrgios 8.58pm BST ...and it’s been as one-sided as it sounds. Federer has raced out of the blocks so consistently on his serve, it’s as if he’s starting with a 30-0 handicap. A late double fault makes it 30-15 after two aces, but a third brings up two match points. Another exemplary first serve is shanked wide by Mayer, and that is that. 8.56pm BST Federer* 6-1, 6-2, 5-1 Mayer (*denotes next server) So, just like that, Mayer is serving to stay in the set. He makes it to 40-15 when Federer sends a slice long, actually drawing gasps from a few members of the crowd. The Argentinean delays the inevitable, and takes his fifth game of the match; Federer got to 5-0 in under fifteen minutes. 8.54pm BST Federer 6-1, 6-2, 5-1 Mayer* (*denotes next server) Mayer has two more chances to make anything, anything at all, happen against the Federer serve. If anything, it’s getting easier for Federer, who snaffles a fifth hold to love with a couple of textbook serve-and-volley points. 8.52pm BST Federer* 6-1, 6-2, 4-1 Mayer (*denotes next server) Mayer is perhaps losing the will a little now, but he prevents another two break points, firing a passing shot from a mishit Federer volley. That’s worked for him a few times, but sadly, not much else has. Deuce, fault, then a punch to the corner that drifts a few inches long. Another break point, and Mayer nets a forehand, to all intents and purposes booking his flight home as he does so. 8.47pm BST Federer 6-1, 6-2, 3-1 Mayer* (*denotes next server) We are indeed seeing a few party pieces from Federer, including a wholly unnecessary inside-out forehand that rattles down the line. The big first serves keep coming, including a deep, angled serve that Mayer sends back just long, securing another straightforward hold. 8.42pm BST Federer* 6-1, 6-2, 2-1 Mayer (*denotes next server) Mayer has had just one break point on the Federer serve, but right now he has to focus on holding his own, as an unforced error gives his opponent the edge. Federer, who has largely hovered between first and second gear, lets Mayer back into the game with a pair of sloppy shots, but a wild attempt at a backhand from Mayer brings up deuce. What feels like a split-second later, it’s another break, as Mayer slips and can’t control his groundstroke. They’ve been on court for an hour. 8.40pm BST Federer 6-1, 6-2, 1-1 Mayer* (*denotes next server) Mayer senses it’s now or never, and battles to 30-30 with Federer momentarily losing his range. A feisty second serve, and a booming first serve down the T, get him out of bother instantly. 8.37pm BST Federer* 6-1, 6-2, 0-1 Mayer (*denotes next server) Mayer switches shirts to a brighter shade of blue, and races 30-0 ahead. A clumsy attempt to approach the net is undone by a drifting, dead straight passing shot, but Mayer gets over the line with an ace, and an error from Federer, who slaps a forehand into the net. 8.34pm BST In the first set, Mayer was undone by nerves and Federer did what was required. Mayer got his act together, but the No2 seed has answered, raising his game to match, if not better, Mayer’s improvement. Federer could put away a very useful opponent in less than the 71 minutes Djokovic managed yesterday. 8.32pm BST A reminder that, as world No34 in a tournament that seeds the 32 highest-ranked players, Leonardo Mayer is about as tough a first-round opponent as possible for Federer. You wouldn’t know it, as Federer races to 40-15, helped by more over-ambitious swinging from Mayer. A sweet backhand down the line saves the first set point, but Federer seals the set with an emphatic volley. 8.29pm BST Federer* 6-1, 5-2 Mayer (*denotes next server) Down 0-30 and getting outfoxed at the net, Mayer opts to hammer the ball straight at Federer. It works, but the respite is only brief - he nets a regulation forehand, and is broken again when a net cord sends a passing shot looping long. Unlucky, but perhaps you make your own luck. 8.26pm BST Federer 6-1, 4-2 Mayer* (*denotes next server) So, Federer moves a set and a break up, and it’s a long way back from here for Mayer. This game is practically over by the time Mayer has got out of his chair, and is sealed with a punched volley into the corner of the court. 8.22pm BST Federer* 6-1, 3-2 Mayer (*denotes next server) Mayer has played just eleven games, and made some decent shots in that time, but he’s playing perpetually on the brink in this second set, and is still struggling to land first serves. Another unforced error makes it 15-30, but a fine cross-court backhand catches Federer cold. A break point is brought up with a slice that clips the outside of the line. Mayer challenges, but to no avail. Mayer rallies to deuce with a big first serve, but a handy net cord gives Federer advantage, and Mayer double faults! 8.18pm BST Federer 6-1, 2-2 Mayer* (*denotes next server) The head-to-head record isn’t great for Mayer - he’s 0 and 6 against Federer, although he got as close as match point in Hamburg two years ago. He can’t make any in-roads on the Swiss’s serve here, gliding to the net when his first serve fails him, and holding to love with an ace. 8.14pm BST Federer* 6-1, 1-2 Mayer (*denotes next server) Mayer, who is also Argentina’s No1 player, has to work hard to avoid more break points, putting away a sharp volley at the net to make it 30-all. Federer mistimes a return, which loops into the crowd and is caught, implausibly enough, by a man in a Roger Federer hat. Federer doesn’t make the same mistake twice, thumping away a passing shot for deuce. Two rather meek netted returns hand the game to Mayer, though. 8.11pm BST Federer 6-1, 1-1 Mayer* (*denotes next server) Mayer snaffles the first point, then witnesses the grim sight of Federer moving up a gear, moving in behind the serve and finding an ace to go 40-15 up. Mayer keeps the game alive with a cross-court backhand that Federer mistakenly leaves, but another ace wraps it up. 8.09pm BST Federer* 6-1, 0-1 Mayer (*denotes next server) Off and running in the second set, and Mayer needs to remember page two of the tennis handbook - don’t lose your opening service game in the second set, either. He battles to 30-15, double faults again - oh Leonardo! - and gets a let-off as Federer nets a makeable return. Mayer sees the game out by shading a baseline battle, and he’s off the mark. 8.05pm BST Some first set stats for you: Aces: Federer 4-0 Mayer 8.03pm BST Mayer’s first-set fightback last about ten seconds, as Federer races to a hold to love. The first set is over in just 22 minutes - but Mayer surely has a little more to offer in this match. 8.01pm BST Federer *5-1 Mayer (*denotes next server) ‘This is gonna be the best day of my liiiiife...’ bellows the PA. Not sure if Mayer shares those sentiments right now. He’s serving to stay in the set, and gets off the mark by outlasting Federer in the best rally of the match so far. Not that that’s saying too much. A booming forehand down the line makes it 30-0, and another clubbed winner, followed by a big second serve that Federer can’t return, gets Mayer on the board. 7.56pm BST Federer 5-0 Mayer* (*denotes next server) This isn’t the first time Federer’s had to get on with the job against an opponent who’s feeling the heat. Mayer should expect zero mercy, and Federer strolls to 40-15 despite a few glitches on the first serve. Mayer does start moving his feet, and fires back to deuce as a Federer volley lands in the tramlines. Now it’s break point as Mayer’s increased intensity forces Federer to go long. An ace crushes that opportunity, another hammers it further into the dust, and Mayer chases a second serve, but fires the return long. Five-love. 7.54pm BST Federer 4-0 Mayer* (*denotes next server) The stands are filling up nicely now, although the famously laid-back New York crowd have to be hurried into their seats by the umpire. Anyway, Mayer needs to get on the board, but a passing shot down the line from Federer and a wide cross-court effort leave him 0-30 down. Another double fault. Oh dear. The unforced errors are stacking up, and although he saves one with a cute backhand winner, an awkward chipped volley gives Federer a chance to pass, which he takes. 7.49pm BST Federer 3-0* Mayer (*denotes next server) Page one of the tennis handbook: don’t double fault three times in your opening service game. Especially if you’re playing Roger Federer, who races to 40-0, double faults (there’s a theme emerging here) but is handed the game by an errant swipe from Mayer that flies way wide. 7.46pm BST Federer *2-0 Mayer (*denotes next server) Mayer powers through the first two points, but his big serve lets his down as he double-faults. Mayer is finding a decent range with the forehand, but a ragged backhand lands long. At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s so important for Mayer to get a foothold in this first set. Another double brings up deuce... and another double fault makes it advantage Federer. Mayer then misses a simple forehand, and he’s already in trouble. 7.42pm BST Federer 1-0* Mayer (*denotes next server) Federer opens his first service game with a double fault, but fights back to 40-30 as he leaves a return that slides long. Mayer overpowers another forehand, and that’s the first game over with. 7.39pm BST The players are out and warming up at a sparsely-populated Arthur Ashe Stadium. If you’ve ever dabbled in the murky world of a local tennis league, you sometimes know you’re in trouble even by this point. Federer is wearing a natty bottle green top, while Mayer is in a patriotic sky blue and white number. 7.31pm BST Hello and welcome to the first step of Roger Federer’s quest for an eighteenth Grand Slam title. Poor Roger has been stuck on 17 since Wimbledon 2012, but this year at Flushing Meadows represents a better chance than most for a man who’s always in the running. Federer is still in the world’s top two, and recently got one over on world No1 and latest nemesis, Novak Djokovic, beating the Serbian in the final at Cincinnati. Djokovic’s presence at the top of the draw, and his 71-minute deconstruction of Joao Souza yesterday, will both serve as inspiration for Federer today against Leonardo Mayer. The Argentinean is a tricky opening opponent - he is currently ranked No34 in the world, and has bagged three ATP titles in the last eighteen months. 3.59pm BST Niall will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s how Rafa Nadal got one last night: Related: Rafael Nadal sees off young lion Borna Ćorić at US Open Continue reading...

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