Federer's focus to be fully tested by Santoro

Swiss Colleagues, having analysed Roger Federer's opening two matches at the US Open here, reckon his game is half way across the English Channel, somewhere between the French Open, where he lost in the third round, and Wimbledon, where he triumphed for the second year in a row.

Federer, who had a slight blip before eliminating Albert Costa, an experienced Spaniard, in straight sets in the first round, and dropped a set to Marcos Baghdatis, a 19-year-old Cypriot debutant, in the second round, agrees that he needs to raise the level of his concentration. He is now due to meet the tricky Fabrice Santoro, a Frenchman who plays two-handed on both wings.

The world No 1's problem is that his matches have begun so smoothly that he has been unprepared for the odd rough patch. "I should have learned something from the first-round match," Federer said, recalling that he had been a break up against Costa in the first set and then had to scramble for 7-5.

Baghdatis, last year's world No 1 junior, made history in the opening round by becoming the first player from Cyprus to win a match at a Grand Slam championship in the open era. Having qualified for his first major tournament, he was delighted to progress and share Arthur Ashe Stadium with the best player in the sport. And when Federer dropped his guard, Baghdatis levelled the match, winning a second set tie-break, 7-4.

"It's maybe not bad to get a tense moment, because the match was almost too easy," said Federer, who went on to win, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1. "It seemed like I didn't have to do something extraordinary to be up. He was making a lot of mistakes. It was enough for me to chip my backhand in and wait for his mistake.

"That should be enough against him. But, as you see, once the match turns, then it's difficult to come up with the shots when you need them. That's what happened in the second set. To come back, he had to come up with some really good shots at the right time, and he surprised me with a few of them. Normally, it shouldn't happen, but it did. He's a big fighter, and he's got a great backhand. Once I got my focus back, I didn't have a problem any more."

Baghdatis was simply soaking up the atmosphere of a night match in the main arena when Federer allowed him into the match. "I was a bit nervous in the beginning, playing against No 1 in the world in the biggest stadium in the world," Baghdatis said. "Then I just started to have fun and play my game. Federer just didn't play so good, and I took my chance.

"Then he put his level up and won the third. In the fourth, I got a bit tired and started cramping a bit, and he played well." By that time, the newcomer was marvelling at Federer's ability. 'It's amazing playing against him," he said. "He knows how to do everything. You don't read his shots."

Baghdatis left the grounds determined to improve. "Everybody has his own game, his own talent," he said. "It's a matter of work, and I'm ready to go back and work to try to be like him."

Gaston Gaudio, the French Open champion, is also ready to go back to work after losing in the second round yesterday to Thomas Johansson, of Sweden 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Jennifer Capriati was in reflective mood about her game after advancing through two contrasting matches. The eighth seed in the women's singles dropped the opening set to Denisa Chladkova, of the Czech Republic, in the first round, and trounced Magui Serna, of Spain, 6-0, 6-2, on Wednesday night.

"I got a lot of the kinks out of my game tonight," Capriati said. "In the first round I was a bit nervous, as you can be at the start of a Grand Slam. Besides, my opponent played really well in the first set - it wasn't all my fault, you know. Tonight I felt more comfortable moving out there.

"You want to come out and play hard, because you're playing for those big matches when they come. You need to get into that frame of mind, so you're used to playing like that, not all of a sudden coming out playing a big player like Serena [Williams]. You can't just do that, you know, pull it out of your pocket."

The progress of Lindsay Davenport to the third round was problem-free until the American fifth seed came to serve out her match against Arantxa Parra Santonja, of Spain, at 5-0 in the second set. Davenport double-faulted twice in losing her serve and then had to save two break points in the final game before winning, 6-4, 6-2.

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
VIDEO
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Sport
video
News
Supermarkets are running out of Easter Eggs
Deals make eggs cheaper than normal chocolate
Life & Style
Wasp factory: 1.3 million examples of the Vespa scooter have been sold in the last decade
motoringIconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act