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Roger Federer trick shot hits Marinko Matosevic as Michael Jordan watches on

Roger Federer trick shot hits Marinko Matosevic as Michael Jordan watches on Tennis Date August 27, 2014 - 5:45PM 22 reading now (21) Be the first to comment Read later Twitter submit to reddit Email article Print Click to play video Return to video Video settings

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Federer off to perfect start Tournament favourite Roger Federer gets his US Open off to an ideal start after a straight sets win over Australian Marinko Matosevic.

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In one of the more bizarre sights from this year's US Open so far, Roger Federer hit a between-the-legs return straight into the back of retreating opponent Marinko Matosevic as NBA great Michael Jordan watched on from the stands.

Federer launched his bid for an 18th grand slam title with a workmanlike 6-3 6-4 7-6 (4) win over Marinko Matosevic to ease into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday, but it was the trick shot that gave Jordan the biggest smile of the night.

 

"He was my hero of all sports," Federer said later, indicating that a legend in his own right can still get goose-bumpy meeting another legend.

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Jordan sat in Federer's box and Federer wore new shoes that are a brand collaboration with Jordan. Their meeting was obviously a forced marriage by Nike, but both seemed to be enjoying it.

During the third set, an overwhelmed and dazzled opponent, Marinko Matosevic of Australia, stopped and pointed at Jordan and said something about wanting to be like Mike.

Much has been made of his turning 33 earlier this month. He has answered by establishing the best record on tour so far this year at 50-9. Also the best on hard courts, 33-5.

The 29-year-old Matosevic spent much of the night looking toward his friend's box in amazement, as Federer stroked shot after shot past him, around him and even over him.

It really was never going to be a fair fight. Matosevic hadn't won a match in a Grand Slam tournament until the French Open this year. He had lost in his first 12 tries.

Federer, on the other hand, is playing his record 60th consecutive major, and holds Grand Slam records with 17 titles, 23 consecutive semifinals (2004-10) and 10 straight finals (2005-07).

Federer had 41 winners and 10 aces in Tuesday's match, and his only less-than-favorable statistic was three for 14 in break-point conversions.

That was just incidental stuff on yet another night of celebrity at the US Open.

"I'm so glad Michael came into the world of tennis," Federer said, "and to come and watch me was special."

Federer said he loved to play basketball, but that, while his jump shot looked good, "the results aren't always the best."

In the late night match, before the evening sellout crowd of 23,771, top-seeded Serena Williams ran through 103rd-ranked Taylor Townsend of Washington, D.C. It took 55 minutes and the score was 6-3, 6-1.

Williams' US Open record - she has won five titles here - went to 73-9 and she said afterward she liked playing at this major so much, "I never want to stop."

McClatchy Newspapers

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