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
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 Statistics||R. Federer||F. Lopez|
|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%)|
|Total Points Won||98||77|
|Distance Covered (M)||1546.9||1590.2|
|Distance Covered/pt. (M)||8.8||9.1|
Thoughts on the Match
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 🙂 as always lets me know your thoughts in the comments.