Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

Federer Defeats Paire to Advance to Round 3 at US Open

A straight sets win for Roger Federer as he bagged a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 win over Benoit Paire to book his spot in the third round at the US Open and set up a third round encounter against Nick Kyrgios on Saturday.

It wasn't the cleanest performance from the Swiss against an unpredictable opponent in relatively high temperatures but he constructed some clever points at key moments to win through. Taking advantage of 11 double faults from Paire to break five times in the match en route to his 7th straight victory against the Frenchman.

Quick Match Recap

Fed 2R US Open 18

Federer won the toss and elected to receive. Paire held to 15 before Roger leveled at 1 a piece. Paire had looked composed as he held again for 2-1 but in game five the wheels started to come off as he was broken to fifteen. Roger then consolidated for 4-2 and it looked like he'd run away with the set. However, an inexplicably poor game at 4-3 handed Paire the break back as he got back on level terms.

The Frenchman then held for 5-4 but in game eleven we got some Trademark Paire has played a disaster game, opting to play some cute angled volley at 30-0 only to see himself lose four points in a row to drop serve. Roger served it out to love.

Into set two and after exchanging early holds Paire again slipped up, double-faulting on break point to hand Roger the break. The break was again consolidated for 4-2 and this time it wasn't relinquished as he took the set 6-4 in fairly routine fashion.

With Paire looking frustrated and his racquet getting tossed around the court he again double-faulted on break point in game three. More erratic play saw him fall down a double break at 1-4 and although he recouped one break after another uncharacteristic game from Roger he wasn't able to find a way back as the Swiss won his next two service games to take it 6-4.

Match Stats

B. Paire R. Federer
Aces 6 5
Double Faults 11 5
First Serve % In 57/102 (56%) 55/95 (58%)
Win % On 1st Serve 36/57 (63%) 41/55 (75%)
Win % On 2nd Serve 22/45 (49%) 25/40 (63%)
Net Points Won 17/37 (46%) 27/35 (77%)
Break Points Won 2/6 (33%) 5/9 (56%)
Receiving Points Won 29/95 (31%) 44/102 (43%)
Winners 25 27
Unforced Errors 47 39
Total Points Won 87 110
Distance Covered 5318.9 Ft 5279.2 Ft
Distance Covered/pt. 27.0 Ft 26.8 Ft


Shit editing and point selection I know but sadly it's all that's out there. They can't even show the match in chronological order!

Thoughts on the Match

Federer Paire USO 2018

I think it was a bit sort of up and down, I think it's always tricky against Benoit, because there's a lot of tactics going on. Never quite the same point. Sometimes he plays very deep in the court, then he plays up in the court. That's maybe why you draw errors out of each other rather than winners at the end. The match maybe doesn't look that good. Plus he covers the court very well. Sometimes you have a tendency to overplay, as well. But overall I'm happy. I think it was not a bad performance by any means by me. I can be pleased, so it's all good.

A fairly routine win here for Roger and he played at an ok sort of level. He certainly has to be happy to get it done in straight sets expending very little energy in humid conditions but I don't like the way he's hitting the ball a whole lot. The court looks slow and heavy which doesn't help either but finding the middle of the racquet seems like a bit of tougher ask than usual for the Swiss Maestro.

Fortunately today he was playing a guy that isn't able to take advantage of someone who throws in 39 errors and 5 double faults. Instead, he hits 47 errors of his own and more than doubles the double fault count with 11 😆 the game at five-all in the first set just summed it up for me, cruising at 30-0, plays some ridiculous volley and gets broken. Once that first set had gone Roger's way then he was highly unlikely to ever really get back into it.

As for Fed like I say kinda just a so-so standard. Something about his body language tells me he's not entirely happy with his game but he's playing efficiently and so far that's enough to get the job done. It's not easy to look good against Paire as he's all over the shop but he was still able to conjure up some half decent ball and construct some nice points to roll on through into round 3. He'll definitely need to cut out the loose service games, fine-tune the second serve and hopefully find a way to bag some more free points once the tougher opposition rolls around but at least he's giving himself a chance to do so by winning in routine enough fashion.

Predictions vs. Kyrgios

Next up is Nick Kyrgios who came from a set and a break down to bagel Pierre Hugues Herbert in the fourth set and set up a third-round tie with Roger. The main talking point across Twitter and the media is Leyhani giving Kyrgios a ‘pep talk' when he was 2-5 down in the second set and it seems to have divided opinion in terms of an Umpire's remit. For me, it's a non-issue as all Lahyani said was along the lines of ‘I want to help you, you are good for tennis, you can do better than this”. That to me looks like a subtle way of telling a guy that can give up a match at the roll of a dice that he needs to try a bit harder or he'll be getting a warning.

Anyway onto the match and all the previous meetings between the two have gone to the wire so it will be interesting to see if this one follows that pattern. Kyrgios hasn't played great in his two matches so far and he's physically fragile over five. Roger has looked mediocre too if I'm honest, some nice moments but overall I could see someone with a bit about them taking him to the cleaners with how he's hitting the ball. Is that Kyrgios? I'm not so sure, even when Fed is playing with no great shakes he's still solid enough to beat most guys out there so I think I'll pick him in four sets.

What did you guys think of his level vs Paire? What are your predictions for the third round against Kyrgios? Let me know 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. Really have to wonder if Wilson has a new person on Fed’s racquets… it looks so much like when he was changing racquets and they had to keep tweaking this and that until they got it right.

      Agree that he’s just “ok”, & that it’s concerning; but he’s moving ok, he’s constructing some nice points as you said. Hope it’s something he can work out soonish,

      Glad he mixed red & white in the outfit, it’s a better overall effect I think; though naturally I detest the bright red square looking like a cheap neon sign.

      I agree with your assessment on the Lahyani brouhaha – I took it as look, bud, I’m going to have to give you a failure to give best effort warning, and I don’t want to do that because we all know you can be so good! Hope Fed can figure some things out before Saturday, because I’m not sure today’s level would be enough. Weather is supposed to be considerably nicer on Saturday (then get massively hot again next week), so maybe that will help boost the overall level of play. Come on, Wilson.

  1. Jonathan, I think that is a very fair assessment. I am quite worried about the match against Kyrgios. I hope Fed can raise his level and that Nick does not have a great day. But we will see soon enough.

    1. I don’t think Kyrgios played that well either yet and over 5 sets his hip / overall conditioning don’t seem great. But Fed will need to improve for sure.

  2. Yeah pretty ugly match tbh. I’m with you on someone with some pedigree getting the better of this Fed – I just think his form just isn’t there right now. I think he’ll beat Kyrgios though, I don’t think Nick has the mental fortitude to play like he does against Fed for 5 sets and in the clutch I can’t see Fed being outplayed by him. 4 sets seems about right, Nick will probably start well but I’ll only get concerned if he goes 2 sets up. Looking past Nick it’s a clear run to the 1/4s and that’s where I think Fed’s tournament will end against Djokovic (depends on if Djokers rd 1 match is his survival match or whether that’s the level he’s going to bring, if the latter Fed has a chance). That said, Fed’s pulled out big performances against Djokovic in the past so I wont completely write him off, but it’d be a surprise I think.

    Thanks for the writeups Jon

    1. Cheers.

      How is Djoker playing? I haven’t seen any of his matches yet, dropped a set in each match so far. Sandgren can play decently in patches though so not a total surprise.

  3. It can be fascinating watching on livescores sometimes: did Paire “do a Roger” in the first game? He went one game up while the clock was still showing 1 minute! This never felt like as easy a match as it should have been: seemed that every time Roger got ahead he was dragged back again rather than really making headway. He’ll really have to do better than that against Kyrgios. And five double faults?!

  4. Sad to say this: This Fed is not beating Kyrgios if Nick plays Fed the way he usually does: as if he cares a lot.

    Nick does not have a steady work ethic – he needs hype and glamour. He gets up for high profile matches and this will be his biggest ever.

    If Fed doesn’t clean up whatever has been wrong with him for a lot of the season I think he’s out Saturday night.

    I hope I’m wrong!

      1. Roger will find a way. Or maybe not. But I see no reason to be negative about his chance to make it.

    1. “Nick does not have a steady work ethic”

      I disagree with this as if you look at his shape a few years ago he has worked very hard to get in shape. I also heard that he does work pretty hard on the practice courts. A lot of this I played video games till 3am and basketball for 10 hours instead of practice is just bravado…

      A steady mind though? Not really…

  5. Not a pretty match but a win is a win. Not sure if due to heat, rhythm or any other factor but he has to up his level. Hopefully weather will be cooler in next few days. I think he will be playing 7pm match time as it quite a marque match. Hope JesusFed will come out from long hiatus 🙂

      1. I stand corrected, Rog playing 2nd day session. Organisers probably think Sat afternoon is a prime slot. I am praying JesusFed to show up

  6. Here’s a longer HL – well yes some of the time you only see his legs, but still – I see a lot of running for dropshots, and many flashy points from both. And no fatigue to sense. A good energy at play I think. Also when hugging at the end it seems they really like each other (we saw this in the above HLs, too). I like that, makes me feel-good. Could be same same vs Nick.

  7. I totally agree with you guys!
    This was more of Paire played bad then Fed played well. And against Nich this isnt enough and to be honest, Fed hastn played good onmany month. He didnt play well in Halle either and he played OK i Wimbledon but not great.
    This is the standard federer has right now sadly, his not better then this but one must wonder why of course. Like you said, many DOUBLEFAULT! Why? Did you notice that he barely put in a first serve in the 3 set and that his servspeed dropped bu 5-6 mph? That indicates for that something isnt right.

      1. Yes Jonathan, That is very poor for Federer and all DF, I mean, he does like 1 each match and sometimes none but Look this year how many he does. Around 3-4 each match in average, that is also very strange.
        43% is very low, I would say 60% is okay. Against Nick he needs probably 65% to win.

  8. A few thoughts about yesterday.

    Do you think that if Kyrgios had not been re-motivated by Layani yesterday, he would have lost ? We know that the psycho effect is key in tennis. NK looked completely upset at one set + one break against himself.

    If NK had lost, Fed would play his next match against Herbert – who, you will agree, is 1) tennistically less talented / strong than Kyrgios and 2) not used to play in such a big arena in a night session against the Maestro.

    If Fed loses (*) against Kyrgios on Saturday, may Fed then be a little (just a little) angry towards Layani ?

    As well, don’t you think Layani dreamt of being the umpire of the Fed-Nick battle broadly broadcast in a fully-packed arena tomorrow  (a “sexier” contest than a Fed-Paire one, you will admit) ? Then, did NK secretly want NK to win yesterday and then acted as his  nanny ?

    But I stop, now. Those are just ifs.

    (*) : It won’t happen.  For me, RF will remind NK who is the boss (in 3 or 4 sets). RF has not lost a set yet (contrary to Djokovic who already lost 2, in 2 matches vs Fucsovics and Sandgren), and in my opinion, Fed handles the 2-week slam well, although we still damaged 2 or 3 nails yesterday…
    It would be interesting to compare –  if Djoko and Fed happen to play one another – how long has each of them  played since Round 1 (fatigue).

    Go Fed and we, Fedfans, let’s keep believing !

    1. It is I think to to take it a bit long. As others think the umpire’s “encouragement” was a mild warning to make a due effort, knowing Nick’s behavior from other matches with parallel course. But otherwise, the better player should win, that’s no doubt. Even if it means harder work for our hero saturday. Otherwise you might suspect fixing, no?
      I think too, and still, Roger will make it. It will probably be tight, but Fed is still a shade better than him in fight.

    2. I don’t think Kyrgios would have lost. I see Fed said Lahyani should have stayed in his chair. Maybe if we weren’t told every 5 minutes that Kyrgios needs help, is unstable, has a troubled mind etc. by the press, Lahyani wouldn’t even have considered getting down 😆

  9. It bothered me that someone impartial whispered in special K’s mind to then cause a medical timeout to be taken in an act of gamesmanship.

  10. I think we have to see the bigger picture.
    The cohort of tennis players that Roger is related to have pretty much melted away this summer.
    Karlovic, Ferrer, Muller, Beneteau, Mayer, Youzhny, Lopez… You won’t see these guys next year, or maybe for a couple of cameo appearances but not more.
    Most of them actually had a decent or even very good year last year and this year they have all dropped their level significantly.
    Not talking about Roddick, Hewitt, Safin and othres who are long gone (or gone irrelevant).

    Roger took us for quite a ride in 2017 and this year had moments as well, but we can’t expect miracels to happen all the time.
    We are seeing the GOAT when he’s close to the end of his career and it shows. We can’t ask for more really. It’s amazing he’s still relevant to the big titles talk in this stage of his career.

    I think Paire is a good measuring stick for the process we’re seeing in the last couple of years. Roger has totally destroyed him in every meeting they had (maybe except Rome 2013) but this year it has been more difficult. It shows that Roger is having difficulties in keeping a consistent level throughout matches and has a harder time containing an unorthodox player on the other side of the net. Benoit will have his share of his UEs no matter what. A consistent player will prevent him to gain back any ground he’s lost. This is how Roger has won thus far. Now we see how Roger’s giving him chances to come back to the match. In Halle it was closer, this time it didn’t change much because Roger was leading every time he played a miserable service game, but it was a matter of timing and could have been much more difficult.

    I don’t expect much from the NK match tomorrow. Deep in my heart I hope for a sheer rise in level like R3 in AO 2017 but I know it’s not likely.

    1. True, who else from Fed’s sort of generation is still around, RF last man standing. Lorenzi still knocking about winning the odd challenger and crushing the British Number 1.

  11. Oooh, I miss you Katyani, and your much more hearty wisdom. Where are you? I’m a bit depressed by tennis’ “knowing all” –
    Katyani, Murli, Wanda – come on.. make us encouraged again with your true spirit!

  12. Total crap match yesterday save for some highlight points. It could be that Paire brings the worst in Roger just like Roger seems to bring the best from most players playing against him. But Roger does look mediocre other than burst of genius strokes. I just hope he brings his best tomorrow night. I’m sure Kyrios does. He always does against Roger and the other top players. I think Roger will win in 4 tight sets with a lot of “you must be kidding me” points from both.

    1. Yes, next could be a match very much worth following. Haven’t subscribed anything yet. Somebody recommend something besides Eurosport? With replay possibility?
      And somehow thinking – a man aged 37 still with a chance to win another slam and still threatening everybody. Anybody else with such consistent longevity? Be grateful, “crap”-saying tennis spankers.

      1. I hesitated initially but subscribed Eurosport for just a month yesterday. For me no other option for watching him. Is Fed worth 10 euro? Hell yes!

      2. Thanks Wanda, may do it – but have they Eurosport replay? – – Anybody experiencing “Tennis Channel plus”?

      3. Sorry for the slow response. Yes muser, you can watch replays for all the matches, looks like on all courts 🙂

  13. Hahaha muser, here I am. Yep was ugly match but I blame heat, humidity, slow court, tricky opponent, Nike (still), Uniqlo’s logo, age (ffs), whatever.
    We were totally spoilt by his crazy come back after the injury. Then this dip of form makes us all feeling hopeless despair? C’mon, he wouldn’t just fade away. He’s out there still believing something special left in him. And is still in the tournament! Even realistic Jonathan predicts Fed will win in 4 vs NK 😆

    Here’s a nice read for you guys about our king :

    1. Thank you for that post.Very nice.Paire is sort of a nightmare opponent.So good but also so bad.
      Would make anyone wonder what on earth they are doing on court.Fed did well to dispatch him so quickly.

  14. Well his movement seems good which was a concern at Cinci.The lack of first serves in the third set is a concern.If he
    can’t hold serve against Nick that will be goodbye.I dont care much for Kyrgios but I guess tennis needs its bad boys,thinking back to McEnroe and Nastase,they certainly livened things up!
    Not much expectation really,it is an awful draw,but we know that he won’t give up without a fight.

  15. Man, people are really freaking out around here.

    Federer may not have entered God-mode against Paire but he did enough to win in straights.

    Both his matches with Kyrgios have gone all the way, and all six sets have gone to tiebreaks. But that was in Bo3.

    In a Grand Slam Federer raises his level compared to Bo3. And match management becomes crucial. In Bo3 you can get hot for ten minutes, blitz the opponent, and it’s over in an hour. In a Grand Slam it’s much harder to just blast the opponent off court. You have to pace yourself and conserve energy. Sprint, not a marathon, etc.

    Federer is still searching for his best game but he’s not far off from finding it IMO.

    I think he will raise his game to meet the Kyrgios challenge. This court is slow but not nearly as slow as Miami. Federer will be able to handle the power of Kyrgios a bit better. Kyrgios knows he can’t just go full-blast from the get-go and hope to win. This is not Wimbledon, and Federer is not Nadal circa 2014.

    It seems really hard for Kyrgios to play percentage tennis. He’s either expending 110% of his energy to annihilate the opponent, or he’s playing too conservatively. Federer knows how to weather the storm and wait for the inevitable lapses.

    I’d not be shocked if Federer won in straights, although four sets is probably more realistic, like Jonathan said.

    Keep the faith! #6! #21!

    1. “This court is slow but not nearly as slow as Miami.”

      Is that true? Miami is actually quicker than IW. And I’ve not seen any Court Speed numbers for USO this year, have they popped up on screen?

  16. Meanwhile,
    On the other side,Khatchanov takes the first set from Nadal.Yes it probably means nothing but now both Nadal and Djoker have lost sets.Fed meanwhile………

  17. Match by match, the Spaniard is keeping his end of the bargain this year. Only Roger didnt keep his. Had RF went deep in Wimb and won Cincy, the YE#1 race would have been much easier.
    If the Spaniard gets to #18 and 5th YE#1, RF’s legacy is gonna take a big hit. RF is solely to blame given the many opportunities he blew since 2014.

    1. The fact that Federer is even in the conversation at 37 and 5-6 years older than all his genuine rivals is actually shocking.

      His legacy has been vulnerable for years.

      If anything we’re fortunate that due to Fed’s remarkable resurgence, Nadal hasn’t passed him already – as he really should have by now.

      1. RF’s record is still vulnerable today because of the lack of young guns with proper bones made to win GS’s. This is why the missed opportunities are kind of salty.
        RF’s game since IW’18 has been a far cry from 2017 which makes things easier for others. It will take an absolute miracle to keep things moving as far as titles are concerned.
        Yes, at the end, it is what it is. Just glad Fed decided hang in there regardless of who gets holds the most GS’s/YE#1’s.

    2. Roger plays tennis, for the joy of it; Nadal meanwhile plays for his life, that he might die if he loses even a point. Kind of obsessively weird when you think about it. Roger can only beat a player like that when he is playing his Rolls Royce game. Unfortunately we haven’t seen that level since 2017. Age, I guess. Nadal is meanwhile stronger than ever, the slump in his career a distant memory. Juiced, I guess.

  18. I’m afraid I can’t find any joy in watching NK, any more than I could years ago with McEnroe.
    Having said that I realise that he has a big game and could well as he says ‘play his RS off’
    against Fed! So much has been written about NK about his wasted talent I just think he’s
    a bully who puts up all bravado front incase he loses. Now Roger may well lose against
    him but we know that he will give it his all, and I don’t mind one bit that he beat Paire
    winning ugly, so C’mon Roger be lucky x

    1. He seems to show Fed respect though in their matches and actually focus. Seen as though RF is one of the reason’s he’s able to earn big bucks while playing. But facing PHH on an outside court, not so much.

  19. An interesting stat below to give us trust.
    Look at where 2018 is   …
    RF seasons through 40 matches
    38-2: 2005-06
    37-3: 2017
    36-4: 2004, 2012
    35-5: 2007, 2018
    34-6: 2003, 2009, 2015
    33-7: 2011, 2014
    32-8: 2008
    31-9: 2002, 2010
    30-10: 2001, 2013
    20-20: 2000

    Not too bad for an old man … Go for more !

  20. Fair sum up by you and Fed himself. He knows he has to play better as Nick will of course be hyped to the gills.

    Courts are truly horrible. I cannot applaud these 39 stroke rallies which everyone seems to love. Nadal was hitting moonballs yesterday ???

    Get yr serve going Fed and you are thru in 3/4 sets thank you

    1. I’ve just watched that rally, was boring. Khachanov going back to much when he managed to get on top in the point.

      USO should be a quick outdoor hard court.

      1. Jonathan like you I’m watching on Amazon Prime, I got the 30 day free
        trial, figured I might just see Laver Cup,( I read somewhere they had the
        rights for it)

      2. But from soft draws to slow courts, the tennis gods seem to want Dr Fuentes’ grinder to win the title – again. Tedious spectacle. Might as well be clay. And be done with it.

  21. @Elizabeth,
    Are you watching Amazon Prime on a computer,tablet or TV?.I have read that you can get an Amazon Fire Stick that enables
    you to watch it on TV.Although to be honest if Fed goes out tonight I won’t bother.The thought of Nadal and Djokovic and
    their endless rallies in a slam final again is quite sickening.

    1. I have it on a smart tv, although they say you can get it on 4 devices. Like you
      if Roger goes out will be hard to watch Djo or Nadal…….good to hear that
      Nadal says he will be 100% for his next match. Do you think the knee bandage
      is a comfort blanket when he is threatened?

      1. Perhaps I should buy a new television!
        Well being uncharitable I think it could be that he has an excuse lined up if he is beaten.?

  22. Kachanov certainly pushed Nadal hard last night and if it hadn’t been for the double fault chokes in the second set tie
    break may have gone two sets up.As soon as Nadal got that second set I knew he was going to win.Really only Delpossum
    to stand in his way now.Much as I dislike him he doesn’t choke,you have to give him that.
    As to the Fed/Nick match it really depends which versions of both players turn up.Perhaps Leyhani will give Fed a pep talk?

  23. Federer hitting a round the net winner in 7th game of 3rd set. Haven’t seen this shot for a while. Loved it. And look at Kyrigos reaction ☺️

  24. Wow,just Wow.
    What a great match from Fed.That 3 all game in the first set was absolutely crucial.Fed came back from Love 40 down and goodness knows how many break points down to win.YES.

    1. Wow, Roger raised his level incredibly. In the beginning he dropped his first 7 backhands into the net but after he secured this crucial 7th game in set 1 I can’t remember a single UE on the backhand for the rest of the match…
      This is really more than we could expect. I hope it gives him a boost just as the Berdych match in R3 at AO 2017 did. ..

      1. Nothing pessimistic. I raised the same concerns at Wimbledon seeing IW and Halle results. I was told they were one off then.
        RF is due for a bad match given his age. Its only natural and this year was littered with those type of matches.

      2. I am not optimistic about winning the USO.

        But I don’t think I have seen much of this playing from Federer this year. Maybe a little at Stutt.
        That was his best tourney this year IMO.

        Today was better than I remember him at IW and Cincy and Wimby to me.

  25. Loved it. Couldn’t help but laugh when one of the commentators
    said when Fed was a set and three up, well Nick where is Mo lahyani

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