Heat really shouldn't matter at this level: Roger Federer
After beating Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 in Round 2, World No 2 insists there are no excuses for players wilting in the heat
New York: Roger Federer insists there are no excuses for players wilting in the US Open heat after the number of retirements reached a Grand Slam record 12.
Roger Federer returns to Steve Darcis during their Round 2 match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Thursday. Pic/AFP
After 10 men quit in the first round, Jack Sock of the United States and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin retired on Thursday.
Despite temperatures rocketing to over 30 degrees over the first four days, in harness with crushing levels of humidity at Flushing Meadows, Federer offered no sympathy.
“We’ve been here in North America for some time. It’s not like, all of a sudden, hot. I mean, it was more on the warmer side, but it’s not like impossible, to be quite honest. Really no excuse for that,” said the 34-year-old.
“I think everybody should be well-prepared. I know we don’t play many best-of-five-set matches all the time, so of course the body can react funny once you exceed the two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours of play.
“Maybe some guys already came in too tired, whatever it was. I think you have to analyze case by case. But I think other players should be so fit that heat really shouldn’t matter at that point, the ones we’ve been playing in.”
The five-time champion strolled into the third round as fellow old-timer Lleyton Hewitt bid farewell in trademark fighting style.
World No 2 Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam champion, needed just 80 minutes to rout Belgium’s Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.
The 34-year-old Swiss star, who was champion from 2004-2008 and runner-up in 2009, goes on to face German 29th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber. Federer has lost just nine games in the first two rounds, his fewest in 16 appearances.