Roger Federer is all in favour of the roof which will tower over the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium at next year’s US Open — just don’t ask him to discuss it mid-match.
The five-time US Open champion believes the retractable roof may play into the hands of the top players as it eliminates the effect of outside factors, the tournament falls in line with the Australian Open and Wimbledon with a covered showpiece arena.
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“I like the feeling of these big center courts with the roof on. We’re used to it Australian Open, Wimbledon, Shanghai, other places,” Federer said.
“I think it’s going to increase the level of play from all players. If you think about it, probably more so the top players, because you know what to expect and you’re not going to have to fight the wind as much.
“If you don’t have to fight the wind you can play closer to the lines and make it better tennis. So probably it might be better for the top guys, my opinion.”
Federer said he is prepared for the downside of having 23,000 fans at close quarters — mostly famously vociferous New Yorkers — with the sound and fury amplified when the roof will be shut.
“I do feel like it’s quite loud. Maybe in American sports it’s quite common that the fans do talk during games or matches,” said the 34-year-old Swiss star.
“I feel like the roof might bring that back down, so, you know, you hear the crowd speaking more, which before I don’t remember hearing ever.”
Federer, bidding to become the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970, eased through the first round on Tuesday by seeing off Argentina’s world number 34 Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in just 77 minutes.
The 17-time Grand Slam title winner fired 12 aces, 29 winners and broke serve six times as he booked a second round date against either Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus or Steve Darcis of Belgium.
Although he definitely supports new-look playing areas, Federer is not a big fan of the latest fad — mid-match television interviews.
Coco Vandeweghwe made history on Monday when she agreed to be interviewed by host broadcaster ESPN at the end of the first set of her opening round.
It was not a development welcomed by all players, with former world number one Caroline Wozniacki tweeting her reservations.
Federer, too, is not for on-court chit-chat.
“I understand the idea, but what’s too much? What’s enough? I understand pushing the boundaries and being more accessible,” said Federer.
“For me, in some ways it’s — I haven’t done it in 17 years, so why start now? At the same time, you might think, Who cares, you know? Honestly I think I’m pretty relaxed when I’m sitting there at the change of ends.
“But you don’t want it to impact your game and you don’t want to look back and think, What a stupid move that was in hindsight. I understand the request, but I’m not sure if many players are actually doing it.”