NEW YORK — Roger Federer took aim at US Open organisers after an easy win. Maria Sharapova overcame a fright and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was a shock elimination at the US Open on Monday.
Federer was more worried about the playing surface than his opponent as he breezed past Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Gael Monfils, Mardy Fish and Thomas Berdych also won in straight sets on a comfortable day for the big names in the men’s draw. Serbia’s Viktor Troicki was the only seeded player to lose.
Vera Zvonareva and Sharapova both progressed, as did Marion Bartoli and Sam Stosur, while Kvitova departed.
Federer joined Andre Agassi on 224 victorious singles matches at Grand Slam tournaments, putting them equal second, nine behind Jimmy Connor’s record total. Federer will net play Israel’s Dudi Sela.
However, the third-seeded Swiss showed he was still eager for more challenges, complaining that organisers had made the courts too slow and too similar to those of the Australian Open; not providing enough variety for Federer’s liking.
“Did they make a mistake? Maybe they did paint the court a bit too rough. It’s just unfortunate that maybe all the Slams are too equal,” the 16-time major champion said.
“They should feel very different to the Australian Open, and now I don’t feel it really does.”
“The night session just feels like you can take huge cuts at the ball. You can run everything down. It’s great for tennis, but I’m not sure if it’s really what the game needs.
“The game needs different speed at slams and so forth. I don’t feel we quite have that at the moment, especially if the US Open is getting slower.”