World number one Roger Federer produce a stunning opening performance at the U.S. Open on Monday, but then said Novak Djokovic deserved to be the favourite for the title.
Five-times champion Federer ran through his full array of shot-making as he dismissed American Donald Young 6-3 6-2 6-4 to reach the second round.
Having won his 17th grand slam title with his victory at Wimbledon last month, Federer is many people’s pick to add a sixth U.S. Open crown to his ever-growing resume.
But the Swiss said the efforts of Serbia’s Djokovic in recent times gave him the edge.
“I still think Novak is the favourite for the title coming in here,” Federer told reporters after his one hour, 34-minute victory under the lights.
“He’s the defending champion, he’s probably won more hard court titles than anyone in the last few years and he also beat me here in the last two years.”
Federer was untroubled by windy and humid conditions at Flushing Meadows as he made world number 81 Young look distinctly second-rate.
The American was once tipped for greatness as a teenager but his win in the first round in Winston-Salem last week snapped a 16-match losing streak that saw him plummet down the rankings.
The left-hander has plenty of talent but Federer just absorbed everything he could throw at him and gave it all back, and more.
The Swiss looked in a hurry to get off the court and reeled off his full array of strokes to set up a second-round encounter with Bjorn Phau of Germany.
“I think it was a good start in difficult conditions,” Federer said.
“He was a talented opponent and I’d never played him before but it was good.”