After injuring his back during a tournament in Montreal, many fans have been wondering if Roger Federer could recover and come back strong in the US Open. The 5-setters he played in the first two rounds have already shown some worrying signs such as 68 unforced errors, a weak single-handed backhand and the fact that he was pushed to his limit in both the matches. Whether Federer will make a powerful comeback or will he keep his fans on the edge of their seats throughout the tournament remains to be seen.

Two consecutive 5-setter matches at the start of a tournament – a first for Roger Federer

Just when the fans were recovering from Federer’s struggle to beat the 19-year-old American tennis player, Frances Tiafoe, it was Mikhail Youzhny’s turn to torment the world champion. Roger Federer was forced to go into a 5-setter which he survived thanks to a cramping Youzhny, beating him 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. By the end of the 3-hour, 8-minute long Match both the champion and his fans were exhausted!

Unlike his fans, Roger Federer seemed to be calm and composed in the post-match press conference, where he spent almost an hour interacting with the Swiss media. He joked that long matches are fun and a perfect way to warm up for the entire tournament.

He also stated that his back injury had nothing to do with his current performance and attributed it to lack of proper practice.

Roger Federer also admitted that he might have struggled more than he would have liked, especially going into the 3rd round. He felt confident about picking up his game in the next match and becoming more consistent.

He stated that his positivity and confidence was because he was simply thrilled to have gotten through the match.

Mikhail Youzhny's immaculate play was unexpected by Federer’s fans

Before Thursday’s match, Youzhny had played against Federer 16 times; even playing against each other in juniors. Federer had beaten him in every single match with an impeccable 16-0 record.

Given this record, many would have even considered Thursday’s 5-setter to be a mismatch. Hence, Federer fanatics have all the right reasons to be worried. This match was supposed to be one-sided game for the 3-seeded champion and not so entertaining.

Due to the rains on Tuesday, Youzhny’s match had been moved to Wednesday. Many consider the consecutive matches to be the reason for his cramping. If not for the cramping, he could have managed to cause a major upset by beating Roger Federer and ending his dream of winning three grand slams in 2017.

Federer’s fans are hoping to see his dominance on the court just like the one they had seen during Wimbledon when he hadn’t dropped a single set.