May 17, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

Pics: Federer hits with Coric

NEW YORK – It was Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Saturday. So there were lots of eager beavers on hand to watch Roger Federer practice with Croatia’s Borna Coric on the Grandstand Court.

For the 20 minutes Tennis.Life was there, Coric was kind of having his way with Federer. Which is why you never put too much stock in small sample sizes or practice-set scores.

How did he look?

Well …

Federer definitely looked a lot more spry than he did during that last match in Montreal, when he tweaked his back and decided to skip Cincinnati the following week.

Did he look free, easy and 100 per cent? Federphiles who watch his every move could probably judge better than I.

But something still didn’t seem quite kosher with his serve. And Coric was having no trouble sending his groundies whizzing past the 36-year-old.

He definitely didn’t seem to be bent in his full-crouch serve receiving position. But it’s practice, so he didn’t need to.

All in all, Federer still has three more days until his debut against American Frances Tiafoe Tuesday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

They had the court booked from 10 a.m. to noon. At 11:19 a.m., on a signal from Federer, they called it a morning. Also probably not too meaningful.

Tough first round

Tiafoe isn’t a cakewalk of a first-round opponent. That’s especially true as the 19-year-old will be playing in his home Slam, and he doesn’t mind the showtime.

Ranked No. 71, Tiafoe has had some very good Challenger events this season. But as he makes the full-time transition to the ATP Tour, he’s only 5-13 on the season at the top level.

It’s tough up there. Among those 13 losses are defeats at the hands of Alexander Zverev (twice), Federer in Miami (the first time they faced each other), Juan Martin del Potro, Fabio Fognini and Richard Gasquet.

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