Swiss ace outpaces antics of Aussie in straight three sets victory
Roger Federer didn’t let the antics of wild child Nick Kyrgios put him off his game, with the five-time champion crushing the outlandish Australian 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 in a rapid-fire win on Saturday at the US Open.
“I’m very happy to have won in three sets,” five-time New York champion Federer said. “But five would have been fine also.
“Nick came out early firing aces and feeling good. I was struggling with rhythm on my backhand early on.
“I started to get the rhythm but he played very well, taking more chances.
“He comes up with a different kind of shotmaking, it keeps you on the edge.”
Federer ignored a moment in the third game of the first set, when the No. 30 seed seemed to mimic the Swiss ace’s lethal serve in a contest where the first five games took a mere 11 minutes.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, seeded second. let his racquet speak for him demolishing Kyrgios in an hour to win the first two sets.
The Swiss had set the tone with a hold for 4-3 in the first set, saving four break points in a nine-minute game of five deuces.
With Kyrgios talking to himself and yelling whenever possible at his coaching box, the Swiss bore down to take a stranglehold on the match.
Federer clinched the second set after a three-ace barrage after earning a 5-0 lead.
The Swiss contributed to the highlight reel in the third game as he chased down a drop shot in a diagonal sprint, catching the ball and sending it around the net post for a spectacular winner.
“Today luck was on my side,” he said. “I didn’t think about that shot until I hit it.
“You don’t get many chances to go for ones like that, I didn’t think I was going to get it.”
“I was happy to squeeze it over the net … I guess I deserved it though,” he joked.
Federer broke for 6-5 in the third set and finished it all off moments later as he fired a winning ace on the first of three match point after one hour, 44 minutes.
He next takes on one-time practice partner Jon Millman after the Australian defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
“Maybe not many people know him but he’s a hard-working guy, the kind we top player respect.
“I trained with him in Switzerland before the grass season, I know him well.
“He done well but now I’ll try to stop him.”
Doubts over the big-match toughness of third seed Alexander Zverev grew after the German lost a bad-tempered match to compatriot Philip Kohlschreiber 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Zverev’s rep as a leader of the NextGen players was tarnished further as the youngster failed to advance into the fourth round; his best showing at a major was the Wimbledon fourth round two months ago.
The outing was a blow to Zverev’s new days-old coaching partnership with iron man former champion Lvan Lendl.
“I took Lendl to do well at slams, but this is a process. You can’t expect to kind of immediately see the results. I think the results will come next year,” Zverev said.
Zverev exited with 53 unforced errors, seven double faults, converting on three of 13 break chances.
“It was a very entertaining match,” Kohlschreiber said. “You have Sascha with the big serve, big strokes, but I was very happy with the variety in my play.”
Wimbledon and Cincinnati winner Novak Djokovic completed a routine night-time encounter with Richard Gasquet, putting out the French player 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Belgian 10th seed David Goffin moved ahead quietly into the last 16 over German Jan-Lennard Struff, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 on a minor show court, overcoming a rough patch in closing out victory.
“He started to believe in his game at the end and he really was dangerous at the end. It was tough at the end,” Goffin said. “I was playing so well at the start, I don’t know why I lost my concentration.
Goffin duplicated his best showing at a major this season (Roland Garros) after losing in the second round at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Kei Nishikori of Japan, the 2014 finalist here, defeated Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.