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Federer’s US Open outfit his ‘worst ever’

Roger Federer may have recovered from a shocking start on the court at the US Open to advance over world No. 190 Sumit Nagal 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4, but he still shows no signs of recovering from the awful outfits clothes sponsor Uniqlo keep throwing up.

Ever since he left Nike for the Japanese brand in 2018 it has been one ugly outfit after another and this one was no exception.

The black and white effort he strode on to Arthur Ashe Stadium in for his round one match against Nagal was reminiscent of a soccer referee and was pilloried for just that, while men’s fashion site D’Marge called it his “worst ever” outfit.

Incidentally, early on Federer was about as effective as a football match official attempting to play tennis as Nagal took the opening set 6-4.

Nagal was giving it his all but Federer was playing so poorly that an unthinkable upset looked to be on the cards as the Swiss shanked multiple backhands off the frame and committed 19 unforced errors in a diabolical opening set.

It was on serve at 4-4 before errors starting spewing from the Federer racket as he made eight errors in the final two games.

It left commentator John McEnroe shaken at what he was seeing. “What is going on is, he’s just not feeling it at all,” McEnroe said.

Federer didn’t look his normal self either, sporting a bit of a stubble on top of the shocking outfit.

But at least his tennis got better as he found his best game, ripping forehands and backhands and frequently coming to the net to finish off points, looking more and more like the Federer of old as he levelled the match by taking the second set 6-1.

From there he also took the third set in regulation 6-2 before eventually serving out a tighter fourth set and the match for a somewhat shaky win.

Post match the Swiss was critical of his own game as he described his game as similar to the beard he would be shaving off promptly.

“It was nice to serve it out at the end,” Federer said.

“I played like my beard today — I was rusty. I am going to shave it off for the next match.”

The poor start came after Federer suffered a shock loss to Russia’s Andrey Rublev in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters, his only tournament between Wimbledon and the US Open.

For Nagal he did exactly what he said he would coming into the match, which was make it memorable.

“I don’t care what the commentators will be saying about me on TV,” Nagal said.

“I’m going to be enjoying the crowd, playing the best tennis player ever. I’m just some dude from India. I’m fine with that until I make my name. That’s it.”

Now, he might be a little more than just some “dude from India”. The whole tennis world knows his name and although it’s unclear what’s next, his ranking and prizemoney are both set to go higher after the 22-year-old’s grand slam debut.

For Federer a second round match looms against regular practice partner Damir Dzumhur and thankfully for him a fairly cushy draw awaits until a potential semi-final showdown with Novak Djokovic.

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