August 29, 2017 -- Flushing Meadows, NYC
Facing a feisty and confident young American, Roger took to Arthur Ashe Stadium for his first round match at the US Open for the first time in two years. Having played against Roger just months ago in Miami, Frances Tiafoe came out swinging big with no fear. With the roof closed due to rain, Tiafoe quickly broke right away and ended up taking the 1st set in front of the loud New York crowd.
Settling in and getting acclimated to the louder stadium, Roger broke in the 2nd set and remained steady to even the match. He looked like he was on cruise control after taking the 3rd set at ease, however Tiafoe wasn't ready to go home just yet as he battled back to take the 4th set hitting his targets confidently.
With the 5th set up for grabs, the two players battled into the night. The Swiss Star edged out the young American to take the first round 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
"I don't think I had the preparation I was hoping to get," Roger said. "Since Montreal, [the] focus has been more on the back, making sure I can play the tournament rather than being well-prepared. I always knew I was going to come in feeling rusty or not great. I was hoping to start better. I really struggled early on. I think Frances connected well. I just really kind of lost my footing sometimes. My eye wasn't working. I was misjudging distance. I think I was also being a bit cautious with my movement. Then in the second set I think it all started to come together."