The 31-year-old Swiss star, seeking a record sixth title on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts, showed the form he used to win last month at Wimbledon and two weeks ago in Cincinnati by advancing in only 94 minutes.
That lifted Federer to 22-0 in night matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium before a typically raucous New York crowd.
“Being back in New York as World No. 1, it’s crazy and I enjoy it,” Federer said. “It definitely brings out the best in me. The crowds are incredible.
“For me I hope we can keep it going out here.”
Olympic champion Andy Murray, who beat Federer for London gold, battled into the second round while defending women’s champion Samantha Stosur, top seed Victoria Azarenka and third seed Maria Sharapova cruised in their openers.
Three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters stretched her US Open win streak to 22 matches while Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova and Chinese ninth seed Li Na also advanced on a day where rain halted play for more than two hours.
Top seed Federer broke Young in the eighth game of the match and held to claim the first set in 27 minutes and then broke him three times to claim the second after only an hour on the court.
Young delivered a final-game fightback before falling on Federer’s third match-point opportunity, after which the winner said he felt pressured at times by Young, who ended a 17-match losing streak only last week.
“There is pressure. Donald played well,” Federer said. “Obviously I am going in here as the favorite.”
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