After two scratchy starts, Roger Federer was all business early Friday at the US Open, pounding Dan Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in just 80 minutes to secure a berth in his 18th fourth round in New York.
“At the end of the day, I think what matters the most for me is that I am in the third round, after all, after those two sort of slow starts,” said Federer who had lost the opening set in his first two matches. “Give myself another opportunity to do better, and I did.
“You almost tend to forget what happened and you move forward. You’re, like, I actually can go through, you know, three sets in a row playing really good tennis. You know, I showed that also in the last couple of matches.
“Today was good. You know, different conditions. I was able to adjust and take care of business. So it was good.”
Evans wasn’t thrilled of having to play at noon after winning in four sets yesterday, but he did have doubles later in the as well.
“It’s tough. I actually thought I was first on today because I had doubles,” said Evans. “I actually asked the ATP guy and that wasn’t the case. I don’t know. You know, it would have been nice to be second or a night match, you know. But, you know, I’m not sure who plays Novak, but, you know, someone’s going to get the short straw and it was me.”
Federer will now take on David Goffin who eased past former US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(5), 7-6(9), 7-5. Goffin just made the finals at Cincinnati and is playing well.
Alex De Minaur upended No. 7 seed Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 for his first career Top 20 win and earn a spot in his first Grand Slam fourth round.
“It was amazing,” the Australian said of the win. “I have been in this situation before, and this is where I want to be. This is where I feel like my game’s at. I want to be pushing these guys, I want to be pushing second weeks of Grand Slams and putting myself out there. So very happy.”
Grigor Dimitrov advanced over Polish lucky loser Kamil Majchrzak to continue his great draw. He’ll now get the 21-year-old De Minaur.
Stan Wawrinka got back into the fourth round after eliminating lucky loser and marathon man Paolo Lorenzi. A day after going 4-hour, 48-minutes, the 37-year-old Lorenzi battled the Swiss tough in a 6-4, 7-6(9), 7-6(4).
“Feel great, really happy with the win,” the 2016 champ Wawrinka said. “It was a good battle on the court. Important to win. I’ve done some better things on the court, but I was really happy fighting well, moving well. I’m really happy to get through that one.
“Today was not tennis-wise the best. Again, most important is to win. Those victories give me confidence for the next one.”
Wawrinka will now meet Novak Djokovic. The Serb postponed practice multiple times Friday fueling the rumor he would not play due to that injury shoulder, but the World No. 1 had no issues tonight in a strong 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Denis Kudla.
“That I managed to play almost pain-free, that’s a big improvement from last match obviously,” Djokovic said. “I didn’t know how my body would react. That was nice.”
But he wouldn’t go into more about the injury.
“I’m not going to go into the medical details,” he added. “But it definitely was bothering me in the past couple weeks.”
Djokovic leads Wawrinka 19-5 but the Swiss beat him twice in Slam finals.
“I played him twice in final of Grand Slam. I was full confidence,” said Wawrinka. “I was playing well, moving well, at the top of my game. For sure I could only play the best tennis when it’s the final.
“We practice so many times during those years together. As you said, played many times against each other. Is always difficult to play. There’s something with him that when I get into my best game, I know that it’s going to have some big rally, I’m going to play good tennis.”
Former Tulane standout continued his dream week ousting No. 17 seed Nikolaz Basilashvili 6-3, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1. He’ll now get Daniil Medvedev who outlasted 37-year-old Feliciano Lopez in four sets 7-6(1). 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-4.
After the win, Medvedev jokingly thanked the crowd who booed him all night. “I want all of you guys to know, when you go to sleep at night, I won because of you,” he said.
On tap Saturday, the fourth round concludes with a super showdown between Nick Kyrgios and Andrey Rublev.
Rafael Nadal returns after a few days off to face Hyeon Chung. The Korean qualifier comes in off of two 5-set matches.
Gael Monfils meets Denis Shapovalov and Marin Cilic clashes with John Isner.
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