Day 1 at the U.S. Open saw Lleyton Hewitt exit at the expense of Paul-Henri Mathieu of France in a five set fight. Robin Soderling, the 5th seed, also endured a five set battle whilst Roddick and Davydenko also made it through.
But it was the night session that really spruced up the crowd. Roger Federer enjoyed a relaxed win over Brian Dabul, but one point will live long in the memory. If anybody thought that his stunning bewteen-the-legs winner against Joker-vic in last year's semi-final was possibly a wild fluke, they were most definitely silenced this morning.
The Swiss Master, at the net after hitting a slice forehand to the corner, soon found himself running back past the baseline chasing a lob from Dabul. With astounding hand-eye co-ordination and dexterity, he pulled off a remarkably difficult 'between-the-legs' (or should I say "tree-trunks") volley which sailed over the net and down the line for a winner, leaving a bewildered Dabul shrugging his shoulders in a helpless gesture to the crowd.
The difficulty in even making contact with the ball in this situation is high, never mind managing to hit it between your legs, missing your legs with the racquet, achieving a clean hit on the ball. If that were it, that feat in itself would be quite remarkable. But Federer managed to hit the ball between his legs with his back to the court, just over the net, and inside the right tramline for a winner. Twice in two years - twice in two attempts! No fluke!
I really enjoyed the great commentary on Starsports, they described in great detail the various shots and strategies, but the best line of commentary came in one of the plethora of lines about Roger Federer. In describing the fact that Federer has the ideal body for prolonged tennis fitness, the voice offered: "If you look at his legs, he's got some real tree-trunks!" I loved that line! He does have some good calves, I must say. Thanks commentary team for the awesome coverage!
This is not quite the best angle, but I believe these are the 'tree-trunks' in question!