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Federer cruises in U.S. Open first round

Federer cruises, top women advance in U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Roger Federer made the perfect start to his bid for a sixth U.S. Open title when he easily won his first-round match at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.

Defying critics who have dismissed his chances here, the Swiss master was all class as he brushed past Slovenia’s Grega Zemlja 6-3 6-2 7-5 in a center court match that was held over from the previous night because of rain.

The 32-year-old Federer, winner of a record 17 grand slam singles titles, ripped 35 winners and committed just 16 unforced errors in the 93-minute win.

“I felt great,” Federer said in a courtside interview.

“It’s great to be back in New York, there’s no doubt about it. Day session or night session it doesn’t really matter when you play on Arthur Ashe Court.”

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki survived a tough examination to join grand slam winners Petra Kvitova and Ana Ivanovic in the second round.

And Italy’s Sara Errani, the fourth seed, showed why she remains a contender with a rare double-bagel 6-0 6-0 win over Australia’s Olivia Rogowska.

Errani showed no mercy against her 151st-ranked opponent, who only got into the draw as a lucky loser replacement following the withdrawal of Japan’s Ayumi Morita, as she romped to victory in 51 minutes.

Other winners Tuesday on the men’s side were former Georgia star John Isner, American Donald Young, No. 12 seed Tommy Haas and No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych.

Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz was booed for serving underhand during a petulant display in his loss to Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez, ranked 247th in the world.

Hampered by a painful back injury, the world No. 14 from Poland crashed to a 6-4 6-4 6-2 loss after arguing with the chair umpire and throwing his water bottle on the court.

“It was like being stabbed in the back by a knife,” said Janowicz. “For three days I haven’t been able to practice, I could barely walk. I was in really good shape before this happened and that’s why I’m fricking disappointed.”

RG3 could be cleared to play this week

ASHBURN, Va. — Robert Griffin III could be cleared to play in the Washington Redskins’ regular-season opener when he meets with Dr. James Andrews on Thursday.

Griffin is scheduled to meet with the surgeon when the Redskins are in Tampa to face the Buccaneers in their preseason finale.

”I know Dr. Andrews will sit down and evaluate Robert and probably just give us his recommendation,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said.

Griffin has been held out of preseason games as he continues to strengthen his surgically-repaired right knee, but has long stated he fully expects to be on the field Sept. 9.

”You’re hoping he’s 100 percent,” Shanahan said. ”The reason I’m a little iffy on that is I want to judge him every day. But I have not seen a setback. I’ve seen much improvement from the first day to where he’s at now from when he first came out - just in his ability to move, his ability to scramble, just the ease in which he practices.”

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has also been pleased with Griffin’s progress during practice.

“I think he’s looked good. He looks as healthy as he has,” Kyle Shanahan said. “There’s been no difference there. He’s been getting a lot more reps. He got a lot more yesterday. Yesterday was a big practice, just doing a lot of team drills and going against each other non-carded, non-Tampa Bay stuff.

“It’s just been good to get him out there, get him repping stuff and going full speed.”