Another straight sets win for Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows as he saw off Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to book his spot in the last 16 for the 15th year in a row.
The win also sees him improve his H2H against Kohlschreiber to 10-0 and he hasn't lost to a German player since the Australian in 2002. Compared to the clinics against Mayer and Darcis this was slightly lower quality but Fed still fired 27 winners and broke serve 5 times to win through in 1 hour and 33 minutes.
Quick Match Recap
Federer won the toss and chose sides, Kohlschreiber elected to receive. Fed then held to 15 and broke the German's serve immediately to lead 2-0. At 1-3, Kohlschreiber fashioned a break point which was saved. He then came up with a genius point at deuce to get a second bite of the cherry but Roger again saved it before holding to lead 4-1.
The one break proved decisive and Fed went onto take serve out the set 6-3 with relative ease. Set 2 looked like it was going down a similar path but after Roger went up a break for 2-1 helped by 2 double faults, he was broken for the first time in 79 service games as Kohlschreiber levelled.
Parity was short lived for the Augsburg native though as Fed broke again immediately, this time consolidating and going on to take the set 6-4.
Despite Fed leading by 2 sets there was little to separate the two and Kohlschreiber came up with some exquisite points at the start of set 3; beaking to love for a 2-0 lead only to throw in 2 double faults and failing to consolidate when it mattered most.
With Roger just doing enough on serve the set ticked along to 4-4 and Kohlschreiber looked to be the better player. However 30-0 on the German's serve soon became 30-40 and a panic net rush from him allowed Fed to reel off a backhand pass to break and then serve out the match to take it 6-4.
|Stats||Philipp Kohlschreiber||Roger Federer|
|1st serves in||44/72 (61%)||50/83 (60%)|
|1st serve points won||31/44 (70%)||36/50 (72%)|
|2nd serve points won||15/28 (54%)||18/33 (55%)|
|Fastest serve||123 MPH||126 MPH|
|Average 1st serve speed||111 MPH||112 MPH|
|Average 2nd serve speed||89 MPH||89 MPH|
|Net points won||16/19 (84%)||17/23 (74%)|
|Break points won||2/4 (50%)||5/8 (63%)|
|Receiving points won||29/83 (35%)||26/72 (36%)|
|Total points won||75||80|
|Distance Covered (Feet)||4776.6||4662.2|
|Dist. Covered/Pt. (Feet)||30.8||30.1|
Thoughts on the Match
Not much in this one really but Federer won the big points and took full advantage of Kohlschreiber making key errors at the worst possible moments. Compared to the first two matches Fed looked almost subdued in his body language and general facial expressions but he still got it done without dropping a set. Maybe he knew that he has Kohlschreiber on a leash or maybe he genuinely wasn't feeling it out there but either way it was another routine victory in just 1 hour 33 minutes against a guy with a stellar record in New York.
In terms of his level Fed's serve wasn't as solid today as it has been, which is probably why he got broken after a streak of 78 straight holds. It was quite interesting to see Kohlschreiber standing so far back on the return actually, he was in Nadal territory for the most part and it seemed to pose Fed a few more problems. The forehand wasn't firing as well either probably due to lack of rhythm as there was no longish rallies like against Darcis but like I said – when it came down the points that mattered – Fed was the one winning them.
As for Cabbage Writer he played some really nice points but still slips to 0-10 in the H2H and it's tough to see him beating Fed on the tour in his career – just incapable of winning those key points that can decide a match. If he could, then with his shotmaking / raw talent then he would be top 10 material easily.
Predictions vs. Isner
Next up is John Isner who defeated Jiri Vesely after the Czech retired down 2 sets to love. Quite a good scenario for Isner who comes in with fresher legs now which makes him a tad more dangerous.
Fed has the wood on the American leading the head to head 4-1 but they haven't played each other since 2012 where they met 3 times, Fed winning 2 of them but losing their Davis Cup tie.
Isner's serve obviously makes him a very dangerous opponent and whenever he plays on home soil he seems to raise his game, winning Atlanta, making the finals in Washington and the Quarter Finals in Montreal. He has played quite a packed schedule in the US Open series but he lost early in Cincy and is yet to drop a set here so I don't think fitness will really come into it.
From Fed's side he just has to do what he normally does against big servers – take care of his own service games, not allow Isner's forehand to do much damage and consistently put the pressure back on his opponent's serve. He's done it countless times against Karlovic, Roddick, The Scud and Isner too so I definitely like his chances. I go with Fed in 4: 7-5 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(2). 2 sabr returns too 😉