Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Federer Back Into Groove At US Open With Straight Sets Win

Roger Federer is back into the groove in New York after dismissing Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 in their third round match on Saturday night.

The Swiss who's gone the distance in his opening two rounds put in a much sharper performance to come through in 1 hour and 48 minutes. Phillip Kohlschreiber awaits in the 4th round after defeating John Millman in straight sets. The win also sees him move up to second place on the all time aces list with only Ivo Karlovic ahead of him.

Quick Match Recap

Fed Third Round US Open 2017

Lopez won the toss and elected to receive. Roger kicked off with a love hold and both players exchanged comfortable holds in the opening stages At 3-2, Roger fashioned two break points and although Lopez saved the first with an Ace, he couldn't save the second as Roger broke to lead 4-2. The Swiss then consolidate for 5-2, missed a set point in the next game but went on to serve out the first set 6-4.

Into set two and Lopez served himself into a 2-1 lead. In game 3 the Spaniard held his first break points but Roger saved both of them with some nicely executed points. Those missed chances proved costly as Lopez then missed a makeable volley to drop serve in game 7 and he went on to drop serve for the second time, losing the set 6-3.

Two sets to the good made much better reading and when the Swiss broke to lead 3-1 in the third thanks to a double fault it looked like for once the match would be plain sailing. That feeling was shortlived however as Lopez hit straight back to level at 3-3. The third then went on serve to 5-5, here Roger held for 6-5 and was able to convert his first match at 30-40 to book his sport in the fourth round.

Match Stats

Match Statistics R. Federer F. Lopez
Aces 13 9
Double Faults 1 3
First Serve % In 46/84 (55%) 49/91 (54%)
Win % On 1st Serve 39/46 (85%) 38/49 (78%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 22/38 (58%) 16/42 (38%)
Net Points Won 13/22 (59%) 12/20 (60%)
Break Points Won 5/12 (42%) 1/6 (17%)
Receiving Points Won 37/91 (41%) 23/84 (27%)
Winners 32 35
Unforced Errors 16 28
Total Points Won 98 77
Distance Covered (M) 1546.9 1590.2
Distance Covered/pt. (M) 8.8 9.1
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Federer Lopez USO 2017

It was clearly nice to go up two sets to love for a change. Feels different from there. Overall I have felt better, too. I was happy I had good energy because I think that was my biggest worry, that somehow after the two five-setters that I had, I was going to feel a little slow, hard to throw the engine on, that I would have to force myself so much, I would get tired from that. It didn't happen. I think I really got off to a good start. The first set was fast. Then the second set was close. Maybe I was struggling with my serve for a little bit to keep the level up … It was also good to get through those tougher moments. A little bit of a wobble in the third maybe. But it's all good. I'm really pleased with the performance.

A much more polished match from Roger here to come through in straight sets and he looked to be moving a lot better than in his first two matches that both went 5 sets.

It's still difficult to judge just how well he's playing and his overall fitness but his energy levels looked high throughout which was pleasing. So perhaps he's not far off the mark when he says Round 1 was about forgetting the back issue, Round 2 due to poor preparation and now Round 3 is back to being more about tennis. So all you can really say is after the first two rounds things are looking up and there was a marked improvement in all areas of his game today after going five with Youzhny.

The only reason I think it's still early to judge is that Lopez didn't really offer a great deal of resistance. He played some nice points as you'd expect but he checked out of a few rallies with some wild shots and his game wasn't quite clicking nor could he take advantage of Feds wobble in the third set. So I think we will learn more about Rogers level in Round 4 and if he continues the upward trend then things are certainly looking rosier as we head towards the latter stages of the tournament.

Predictions vs. Kohlschreiber

Next up is Kohlschreiber who's put in his best performance at a Grand Slam in a while to make the fourth round. The German has a great game to watch and his overall results / title count belies his talent so in a one off match you can't really write him off. He came into New York with zero hard court matches but played well in Kitzbuhel and the courts here in Flushing seem to suit his game which is why he I think will be a threat tomorrow.

He hits with a lot of spin, likes a higher bouncing ball and has played well in New York before so this should be a tough matchup. Fed dominates the H2H of course but I think we will learn a lot more about how Roger is playing tomorrow. Hopefully, a win in 3 or 4 sets awaits.

And apologies for the slightly slower turnaround on this post. 5.30am match time finish combined with a busy weekend stopped me publishig sooner πŸ™‚ as always lets me know your thoughts in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. [And apologies for the slightly slower turnaround on this post]
    No worries, Jon. We understand that covering back to back five setters must be back breaking work. It’s all good. We are really pleased with your performance. πŸ˜‰

    1. I blame it on poor preparation, missing Cincy didn’t allow me to work on my posting game pre US Open. Covering these first two I was a little worried about my writing. Now going forward I can just focus on my posts.

  2. The fact that Roger didn’t take a serious downturn after being broken in the third is a good sign. He was moving well, hitting really cleanly, and serving better. Kohlschreiber should be a test, as Feli was, but Fed knows Kohli’s game so well that if he’s playing anything like he was last night it should be straights.

  3. Plus the closed roof here was a positive for Fed. Tomorrow promises to be sunny and warm. His is the night match so let’s see how he deals with the elements. I thought he looked very sharp last night.

  4. Thank You, Jonathan, for another great analysis. I much enjoyed the match, Roger appeared by far more crisp in his performance than in previous matches. Next up, Kohlschreiber…..Go Roger!

    1. Thanks, yes was a good match really, some nice points. I dunno why Lopez was going for blasting his backhand though, surely slice + extend points should have been his game.

  5. I thought that you must have been busy after checking a couple of times without seeing one; so really pleased to your analysis πŸ™‚ . On the match, I could tell that Roger adjusted his court positioning to compensate court/ball bounces by standing a step behind the baseline with very good effect – the UFEs went down dramatically. Overall, a high quality match, as both played well. On the next match, we should see similar result like 3 3 4.
    Allez Roger!

    1. Yeah night sessions are a killer. I think this one started at 4am for me. But I was out until about 2 so couldn’t sleep before hand. Although can’t complain I guess as if it was a day session, I doubt I could have watched.

      I was more surprised with Lopez game plan than Fed, he ripped his backhand all the time but that’s his worst shot, dunno why he didn’t slice more, maybe it just sits up on this court.

  6. Philipp has won a total of three sets in his 0-11 H2H record with Roger. Two of them were on grass. The only one on a hard court was at Basel in 2015. Can he take three sets off Roger on Arthur Ashe? I do not think so (barring a sudden resurgence of the “back issue”).

    1. Not really. Still some ways to go. Real test comes against Thiem/DelPo. That will set the marker. Meanwhile, Nadal isn’t coming through good competition either so it’s hard to tell where either stands to be honest.

      1. Correction “getting close”.. πŸ™‚

        Agreed that both are not battle tested yet. Thiem/Delpo could be a grind.

      2. Yeah it’s still very early days, those 5 setters make you think he has played a lot more than 3 matches. Kohli will play well I think, fresh and in decent form.

      1. Oh, yeah. I can’t slap a return when the ball bounces high on my left. A downward CC slice is just about all I can do. And hope for a mistake.

  7. Happy for a quick 3 sets win against Lopez, hope he has overcome his back issues. Conditions are not exactly prime for offensive tennis, balls are slow and difficult to hit winners at will. Hope for another good match Roger against Kohli.

  8. Nice to see Roger with more winners than UFEs :). He is moving well and hope he can bring his UFEs down more and get more first serves in. The roof will certainly be open tomorrow night. I hope he can bring his game up another level from here on out. Based on his movement and stretch volleys, I think his back must be feeling a whole lot better. Should be straight sets vs Kohli and if he can pull through 2 tough ones in the quarters and semis, the title is his and he knows it. Hope it works out that way.

  9. Shapovalov lost today. Don’t know what he said in the presser but he had a great run considering he played a lot of matches including qualifying. This court surface was a detriment to his game, slow and hard to hit winners. Carina B was chasing everything down. Anyway, we need to keep an eye on him. Aggressive style and fun to watch.

    I think the USO has made some bad decisions . Screwing up the court surface, giving Sharapova a wild card and showcasing her on Ashe every match while high ranked women on outside courts. Throwing out Fognini days after his rant and after he plays a couple of doubles matches. That long to interpret what he said in NYC….are you kidding me.

    On to Roger. What a relief to see him playing so much better. We can start to dream again. I’ve seen Kohli play at IW and he really hits a nice ball. So many guys like that on tour without the results to show for it. Roof open, different again.
    Now what will PRF say about your post? Tee-hee.

    1. Did you mean Jonathan’s article (prediction), Sue? If so, I think, I have posted something about this prediction (before I could read your’s. I don’t see Kohli to be good match for Fed (Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match … Fiddler on the Roof (if we just speak about roofs ;)) Will the roof be a matchmaker today? (do you know “PRF” from another Fed-related forum???)

  10. Is this Ashe court & ball combo making things slower than Miami and/ or Indian Wells?

    Everything looks like a slog out there.

    1. This is getting beyond a joke. There was a time when the courts were set up months before the tournament and ended up being very slick on day one. Then, not sure why (I think I read a reason somewhere), they started resurfacing them later, which explains why it got slower. And now…this.

      And why did they have to resurface the courts at the eleventh hour? The fuck were they doing at hour 10, 9, 8, 7 etc.?

      1. The court surface wasn’t right for some reason, so they tore it up at the last minute. Hence the nightmare surface. One has to be Superman to hit a winner.

      1. Check out this link:

        Doesn’t exactly give you the reason why they’ve been resurfacing later in recent years, but still a good read. The more it is played on and powerwashed, the faster it gets of course so I think the speed with keep increasing, relatively, by the time the [rigged] Federer-Nadal match is due.

    2. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ . I bet that they tried them a bit faster, as every genuine tennis fan could tell so far that balls bounce so much that the USO get lots of fake Djokovic and Murray running around retrieving balls.

  11. Feliciano Slowpez had no answer to Fleetfoot Fed.

    This match was not as imposing as the match against Berdych in AO but will give lots of confidence to Fed.

    Delpo is the real threat I guess

      1. Del Potro can beat Thiem because Thiem usually has trouble returning big serves and dealing with pace. Unless Thiem finds the BH side and can really exploit Del Potro’s weakness there. But that’s certainly not a given.

      2. Thiem has a kind of respect to highscrappers . He has the game to defeat Delpo, the question is, will he have courage to overtake the command of the game? And what’s an even bigger threat from Delpo, is not his forehand, but his backhand slice, alwas hiitting the same point on the court, very precise and if the opponent is not quick enough with decision to change direction, will inevitable fall under the hammering forehand. Let’s see, if Thiem learned the lesseon and will be prepared to play against Delpo like he did in Rome against Rafa.
        Thiem would be bigger challenge for Fed then Delpo., but I totally dislike Delpo, so I want Thiem to win today and we will have an entertaining match in QF πŸ™‚

      3. @PRF – you going for parody again when you say Del Potro’s backhand slice is a threat? πŸ˜†

        It’s a massive weakness. Even in his best days – his backhand was never a great shot. He’s always just had a forehand. Thiem should really beat him, he has more in his game. Just depends if he can manage it…

      4. A slice of New York style pizza and cheesecake are an even bigger threat than a Del Po slice.

      5. No, Jonathan, it’s not a parody. I kind of know iit from own experience. Delpo’s backhand slice is always long, never a winner, but a dead ball and with a dead ball you can hardly hit a great shot, because there is no energy and pace in the ball you are going to hit. This is just what Roger is doing (Thiem can it too quite well) sometimes just to avoid power shots. And if Roger receives such a ball from opponent, it’s not harming him directly, but the only thing you can do to hit a winner, is a dropshot. Roger plays perfectly dropshots, Thiem not bad, but still too many errors, But (as someone wrote before) Thiem has (probably mental) problem when playing big servers. He could turn a big server, but is not yet there.
        BTW – sorry for the parody, I cannot help sometimes – it’s my temper πŸ˜‰ Will try to avoid this or mark so, everyone knows, it is what it is πŸ™‚

      6. Del Potro’s isn’t playing club players though is he that can’t handle certain shots. These guys can inject pace at will if they chose to. So no way is his slice a good shot. It’s neutral.

  12. Brilliant !

    IndustriousΒ  like a busy ant,
    On your back, no painful elephant.
    An owl peering – magnificent –
    in the dark city of Giants
    to dispense aces and forehands.

    No need for a dopant.
    Merely focus and sequence.
    Buoyant and elegant,
    WearingΒ  your nightly garments.

    Flamboyant and constant,
    Not at all hesitant,
    Never thinking : “No, I can’t”.
    Not at all a figurant.

    In your game, confident.
    Easily triumphant.
    For us, no antitranspirant !

    Another accomplishment :
    It is everything you want.
    A wish gods surely will grant.

    To the best in all sports, a giant
    Always, our admiration we’ll chant.
    Roger Federer, for your unequalled talent
    Your faithful fans feel reverent.

    Sept. 3, 2017

  13. Thought you were a zombie in the chat but a great job done as always, Jonathan.
    Hope Fed will continue improving. Allez!

  14. Yep, much better overall but Feli never cld return and his serve didn’t help him much tonight either. However, a confidence boosting performance from Rog, far fewer UFE’s and straight sets quick energy saving win. Will need to keep focus v Kohli tho who has done well considering total lack of hard court prep as u say! These courts will help him stay with Fed so an exiecting a tougher match than this one. Good thing is that he isn’t a power player so once again match on Feds racquet, all about what form he brings! Fed in 3/4 I think.

    PS am seeing either Sam or PCB ( who played a Novak like match v Denis) in the final. I guess Sam as an American wld be the better narrative for the tournament! Pouille had a chance but became totally inhibited playing an injuries oppo!

    1. Yeah I like Querrey to make the final, skipped Winston Salem for a run here and paying off. Don’t particularly like his game but seems like a decent guy. PCB is very solid though so courts maybe help him.

      1. PCB is always very solid. Just like Royal Bank πŸ˜‰ But PCB has a bigger potential. Querrey’s game changed a lot since last season and he’s no more pure big server, going to the net a lot – of course big serve is a foundation for such a game. But my favorit in the bottom half is indeed Diego. This guy has finally found the right game for his body, even starting to hit aces. Small brave Diego for the final !!! But don’t touch Fed then πŸ˜‰

      2. When players like Schwartzmann go that deep in big tournaments, the comforting idea is that the game is not all about physical loftiness. No big serve? No problem. Improve the return. Be a ground floor predator. Run faster than them.

  15. Kohli is a nice player and I like him. But no reasons to overrate him. He was never/is not the format of Fed. Doing well so far in USO means defeating Smyczek (188.), Giraldo (129.) and Millman (182.) Could not have that easy draw at Kitzbuehel πŸ˜‰
    Roger wins in 3 with ease. No longer than 1h30′.

  16. What do you predict for Rafa vs. Dolgo? I guess, Rafa can get nausea and lose fun and nerves, if Dolgo is on fire and must not retire πŸ˜‰

  17. Glad to see Fed get his game back, but overall / realistically…

    Does anyone think Roger, at this point in the season, given his tenuous form, beats Rafa on these dead slow courts?

    They really do look like clay except for the sliding.

    Even as good as he was against Feli, there was such a lack of ball speed and pace like we’ve seen so much of this season. The OHBH – even when it’s hit well – sails like a bowling ball on a parachute.

    Just seems like Rafa’s court to me.

    1. Rafa loses today to Dolgo :):):) If not, he loses to Rublev. If not, he loses to Roger :):):) (last option the best – smaller difference in ranking points, but what a fun πŸ™‚

  18. I like Roger’s gradual progression of opponents going forward:

    Kohlshreiber – Del Potro – Nadal – Querrey

    Not too bad. As long as he starts playing like he did against Lopez, things will be ok.

    If Nadal and Federer make it to the semis, I’m going. Tickets will be probably $400 a piece but screw it. This is once in a life time experience, especially in New York. ?

    1. Oh, boy! Are they going to hype it or what? As if it’s the greatest thing that happened to tennis. Except, that would not be true.

      1. Kohlschreiber – Thiem – Rublev – Schwartzman. Good enough πŸ™‚ Last oldie today, then all NextGens (well Thiem somewhere between NextGen and Adults πŸ˜‰ )

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