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NEW YORK -- Growing up as a basketball fan, Roger Federer had a poster of Michael Jordan hanging on his bedroom wall.
On Tuesday night, Federer won a first-round match at the US Open with Jordan sitting in his courtside guest box.
Playing in his record 60th consecutive Grand Slam tournament, and seeking to add to his mark of 17 major titles, Federer delighted his childhood idol with a back-to-the-net, between-the-legs shot during a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over 76th-ranked Marinko Matosevic of Australia.
"Growing up, [Jordan] was my big sporting idol," Federer said. "Having him here is unbelievably special."
The second-seeded Federer will face another Australian, big-serving Sam Groth, in the second round.
In other first-round play, John Isner, a former top American college player, beat this year's top American college player.
The 13th-seeded Isner defeated Marcos Giron 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (2). Giron earned his first spot in a Grand Slam tournament when he won the NCAA title for UCLA in May.
The big-serving Isner didn't face a break point. He has shown that a player can compete in college then succeed in the pros after a successful career at Georgia from 2004 to '07. He's the only American man currently ranked in the top 40 in the world.
The 21-year-old Giron announced in July he was turning pro after his junior season.
Fellow American Sam Querrey improved to 3-9 in five-set matches with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez.
American Jack Sock retired from his first-round match because of a right calf injury.
|John Isner won in straight sets, but needed two tiebreakers to beat fellow American Marcos Giron.|
Sock was trailing 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to Pablo Andujar of Spain when he decided he couldn't continue. He said he strained the calf on a slide in the second set.
Sock hopes he can recover in time for doubles. He and Canada's Vasek Pospisil won Wimbledon in their first tournament together, upsetting the 15-time Grand Slam champion Bryan brothers in the final.
The 21-year-old Sock had reached the third round at the past two US Opens. He came in with a career-best ranking of No. 55.
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer beat Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
Meanwhile, 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan cruised to a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Wayne Odesnik, showing no apparent effects from a toe injury that hampered his preparations. The 176th-ranked Odesnik earned a wild card into the US Open, his first appearance in five years. He served a yearlong ban after pleading guilty for importing human growth hormone into Australia.
Victor Estrella of the Dominican Republic earned his first Grand Slam victory at age 34, beating Igor Sijsling 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Estrella hadn't played in a major tournament until this year.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.