Sweat equity for Federer

By Howard Fendrich
Associated Press / September 3, 2010

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NEW YORK — Roger Federer is one cool customer.

The temperature climbed into the 90s yet again yesterday at Flushing Meadows and the guy showed up for work wearing a warm-up jacket. Then he put in his 1 hour and 41 minutes on court, dismissing 104th-ranked Andreas Beck, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, with the help of 15 aces, to ease into the third round of the US Open.

“It’s about just saving your energy for the really big match coming up, maybe the next one,’’ Federer said, perhaps mindful that he was pushed to five sets in the opening round at Wimbledon in June before eventually losing in the quarterfinals at a second consecutive major tournament.

He dropped all of seven games in the first round of the US Open, allowing the owner of a record 16 Grand Slam titles to feel pretty good about things.

“It’s the perfect start, sure. I played Monday; had two days off. I had another easy one physically today, and here I am in the third round feeling like I’m completely in the tournament,’’ said Federer, a five-time US Open champion and the only man left in the field who has won it.

“I got a sense for how the court speed is again. I got the sense of the crowd and the wind now, as well. I played one night, one day. I have all the answers after two matches.’’

In other words: Let everyone else sweat it out.

Like Kei Nishikori, the 147th-ranked qualifier, who fought cramps in his racket-holding right hand and elsewhere while taking a minute shy of five hours to wrap up a 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 victory over 11th-seeded Marin Cilic.

“It was very humid. It wasn’t easy to get the oxygen,’’ said Cilic, an Australian Open semifinalist in January.

His was one of a handful of upsets. Beatrice Capra, an 18-year-old from Ellicott City, Md., ousted No. 18 Aravane Rezai, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3; No. 9 Agnieszka Radwanska lost to Peng Shuai; and No. 22 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez fell to Patty Schnyder.

Novak Djokovic’s straight-set victory over Philipp Petzschner was interrupted briefly in the eighth game while police escorted out three spectators after a fight in the upper deck of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

US Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier says it was a “disagreement over verbiage.’’ Djokovic, the No. 3 seed, and Petzschner stopped playing and looked up into the stands while New York police handcuffed the fans and led them out. Nobody was hurt. Widmaier said: “It was a hot night in New York. Things happen.’’