NEW YORK // Roger Federer is on a mission - and that may not be the best of news for the other men who fancy their chances in this year's US Open. New father Federer, who celebrated the arrival of twin daughters five weeks ago, took just 88 minutes on Monday to dispose of the American grand slam debutant Devin Britton, his first-round opponent, 6-1 6-3 7-5. Federer is not only looking to extend his record grand slam haul to 16. He emphasised he is also eager to match Bill Tilden's 1920s feat of winning six US championships in a row.
"That's what I'm here for, trying to equal Bill Tilden's record," said Federer. "You can set different types of goals. Mine are at a very, very high level." The Swiss world No 1 made no allowances for a 1,370th-ranked opponent contesting only his second tour-level match at the tender age of 18. The American wildcard saw the first set flash by in 18 minutes. He recovered slightly and even had the audacity to break Federer's serve twice in the next two sets - which he described as "the best 10, 15 seconds of my life".
"My goal was to not get crushed... I was pretty scared," Britton said as he summed up the match. "His forehand is just crazy. Everything he does is unbelievable." Two other players on a mission, this time for their country, achieved at least the first of their objects. Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvarman sparked off celebrations in their homeland as Monday marked the first time a man and a woman from India had reached the second round of the same major.
"For a long time... I was the only one playing singles in the main draw for the grand slams, and it's great that Somdev is playing so well," Mirza said after beating Belarussian Olga Govortsova 6-2 3-6 6-3. "I'm really happy that we have two Indians in the second round of a slam." * With agencies