the legend

joyful rogger fedder

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stylish Federer off to impressive start

Photo Titled Federer serve
Roger Federer rises high on his way to a straight sets victory over Yen-Hsun Lu
Photo Titled Yen-Hsun Lu
Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu was powerless to prevent Roger Federer surging to a straight sets first round victory

Roger Federer justified his role as favourite to win the 2009 men's title by swatting aside the challenge of Yen-Hsun Lu from Taipei 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 on a Centre Court where, despite overcast conditions, the new roof remained open throughout.

It was a highly impressive performance, since Lu did his nation proud with a battling show, especially in a tightly-contested first set.

Federer's warm welcome to officially open the 2009 Championships was probably a mixture of affection for the five-time champion and approval for his eye-catching and stylish apparel - long trousers, jacket with the collar turned up and, underneath that, a fitted waistcoat, all in white and all discarded prior to the Swiss marching out to hold his first two service games to love.

But if Federer, and the spectators, imagined this was the prelude to a rout, they were wrong. Showing determination and no little skill, the 64th-ranked Lu attacked his distinguished opponent at every opportunity. Lu's ability to battle was best demonstrated in the fourth game of the opening set when he fought off four break points, and followed this up by breaking the Federer serve for a 3-2 lead as the world No.2 netted a backhand.

Needing to counter-attack quickly, Federer did just that, although with the help of a little luck. He reached break point with a net cord that fell dead on Lu's side of the netting and was level at 3-3 after the Taipei player's forehand error.

Try as he might, Federer could not shake off his tenacious opponent in a tight opening set. Facing a break that would have put Federer 5-3 up, Lu again battled his way clear of danger and it seemed the Swiss might face the indignity of a tiebreak. But at 5-6, and despite serving successive aces, Lu faced a set point when he missed a simple dink volley. Federer needed no further incentive, and a backhand winner put him a set ahead after 48 minutes.

Having stamped his authority on the proceedings, Federer raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set before Lu was able to stem the flood of Swiss winners with more brave and impressive attacking that earned him warm applause.

But the Swiss was not to be denied, taking a 5-2 lead by swatting aside a couple of break points and holding serve with that tennis rarity - a winner hit around, rather than over, the net, a feat that Federer greeted with another rarity, a raised fist
Federer closed out the second set in rousing fashion, winning the game to love with his seventh ace of the match to go two sets up after one hour and 14 minutes. An early break in the third set allowed Federer to unveil his repertoire of stunning shots and, hard though Lu continued to resist, the Taipei player grew increasingly prone to error.

It had been an impressive fight, but Lu was up against a master of the game who had achieved the brightest of starts in pursuit of a record 15th Grand Slam.

No comments:

Post a Comment