From the baseline: Tricky shot

August 31, 2010

A combination photo shows Roger Federer of Switzerland returning a winning shot between his legs while playing against Brian Dabul of Argentina during their opening night match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Trick shots are nothing new for five-time U.S. Open champ Roger Federer.

With five former champs seeing action on day one, it was a spectacular between the legs shot during the second set of his victory over Argentine baseliner Brian Dabul that will dominate talk around the water cooler this morning.

“I’ve only hit a few in my life and two on center court in night session play here in New York,” Federer told his audience. “It’s amazing to share this moment with you guys. Thanks for the ovation and I love it.”

Among the other notable players joining Federer in the second round were birthday boy Andy Roddick, Venus Williams and super mom Kim Clijsters. The only former champ to lose on day one was Australian Lleyton Hewitt.

Although the 2001 champ has only advanced past the fourth round of a Grand Slam once in the last four years, he still plans on playing.

“I still believe I can improve as a player,” said the former world number one, who was seeded 32nd.

Day two sees both number one seeds in action. Rafael Nadal, who has lost in the semi-finals the Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark celebrates after defeating Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the rain delayed final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal, August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Shaun Bestlast two years at Flushing Meadows takes on Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili.

The Spaniard faces a tough road if he hopes to capture his first U.S. Open title. Not only could he potentially play Briton Andy Murray in the semis, there’s the prospect of going up against long-time rival Federer in the final.

The two have met in many memorable matches, but they have yet to play at the Open.

On the women’s side, Dane Caroline Wozniacki, who is the top seed due to the withdrawal of injured Serena Willams, opens against American Chelsey Gullickson. Wozniacki has won the last two tournaments she has played and lost to Clijsters in the finals here last year.

Other notable players seeing action on day two are Novak Djokovic, Jelena Jankovic and 2006 champ Maria Sharapova.

Will someone be able to top Federer’s magical shot?

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