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NEW YORK—US Open courts are playing slower than ever, which should empower elite players to excel, says second-seeded Roger Federer.

Federer, who fell to Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati final earlier this month, felt the Queen City courts were so fast they were a speed trap.

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In contrast, the second-seeded Swiss says Flushing Meadows is not nearly as fast as Cincinnati. Federer says that favors top players giving them time to construct points.

"I feel it plays very slow, to be honest," Federer said after defeating Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday night. "Probably center court is maybe even a bit faster than some of the outside courts. Armstrong, from I what heard, I feel like the P courts they play, have a lot of bounce in them as well.

"I remember when I was here before Cincy, I came to practice here in New York, and I also combined it with the balls we played at Cincy, but the bounce was incredible. I feel like it's a very bouncy court."

Cincinnati uses Penn tennis balls, while the US Open features Wilson balls.

Federer said the slower the surface conditions in New York, the more it benefits top players.

"Obviously at nighttime it goes slower," Federer said. "Most of the big matches will be played at night here, especially down the stretch. So I feel like you can really construct the point nicely.

"If you play attacking tennis, you have to do it smartly. Like in Cincinnati, you can't outright play aggressive tennis and try to suffocate your opponent. This, to me, seems the slowest US Open we've seen in years. That's my opinion there, which I don't think necessarily is a bad thing. Usually it helps the top guys, the slower it is, to be honest."

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve


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