By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger 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 U.S. Open on Tuesday.
A five-time U.S. Open champion, Federer never appeared threatened by Matosevic but the 76th ranked Australian still forced the Swiss maestro to work up a sweat in front of a center court crowd that included basketball great Michael Jordan.
Dressed all in black, Federer broke his opponent once in each set but in the third Matosevic finally broke back forcing it to a tie-break, which the third seeded Swiss won 7-4 by clinching the final three points.
Federer will next meet another Australian Sam Groth, who was a 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-3 winner over Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)