Federer Better, Rafa Rallies At US Open; Shapovalov Sunday
by Staff | September 3rd, 2017, 1:14 am

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal inched closer to a semifinal showdown on Saturday after winning their third rounders at the US Open.

Tournament top seed Nadal was on in the afternoon and after another flat start against a lightly-regarded opponent, Nadal revved up his game to pull away from “lucky loser” Leonardo Mayer 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 under the Ashe roof.

Mayer, who only made the draw when Milos Raonic withdrew, had never taken a set in three previous meetings with Rafa and also had never beaten a Top 10 foe on hard courts or at a Grand Slam. But after withstanding an early Nadal push, the Argentine settled down to take the first set. That was until Rafa began to find his mark in the second finally breaking Mayer on his 14th chance.

“It was a slow start of converting break points and when you have that many break points, you created the opportunities, more than usual,” said Nadal. “So if you are able to convert one, two of them, probably we will talk about another story because that’s the real thing. In the tie-break, I made a mistake, he played well and had some good serves.

“When you see that you lost a set that you had triple more opportunities than your opponent, then of course you are in trouble. At the beginning of the second, I had break points again. After that, finally I converted one at the 14th opportunity. After that, the match was completely different.

“You need matches like this. Then now I have the opportunity to compete again, to try to do it well. I am in the second week. That’s the important thing. I already won three matches in a row. That’s important news for me.”

It was the third straight match Nadal began slowly. Next for Rafa on Monday is Alexander Dolgopolov who blew out Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 in just 88 minutes.

In the evening, concern was high for Roger Federer after a shaky opener against Frances Tiafoe and having to escape from the clutches of Mikhail Youzhny.

Tonight, though, was all Federer. The Swiss was virtually flawless against Feliciano Lopez cruising to a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 win in 1 hour, 45 minutes.

In a brisk 25-minute first set, Federer jumped on Lopez early and rode his serve to the early lead, and against Lopez, who he is now 13-0 against, that seemed to be enough for the Spaniard.

Federer did squander a break lead in the third but quickly got it back and served it out.

“Overall I have felt better, too,” Federer said. “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, you know, 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, you know, that I was hoping to stay up. So I had to struggle a bit there. It was also good to get through those tougher moments.

“A little bit of a wobble in the third maybe. But, you know, it’s all good. I’m really pleased with the performance. It’s exactly I guess maybe what I needed going into the next round.”

In the win, Federer hit 13 aces surpassing Goran Ivanisevic’s total of 10,131 with 10,140 for second all-time. And Roger goes to 33-1 under the lights at the US Open.

Federer now meets Philipp Kohlschreiber in the fourth round. He’s 11-0 against the German who hasn’t dropped a set all event after dismissing John Millman 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.

Andrey Rublev kept his great run going by eliminating Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. The 19-year-old, who stunned Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday, is into his first Grand Slam fourth round against David Goffin.

“It feels great,” Rublev said. “Is first time I am in the second week of the tournament. This is amazing because we used to joke before about second week, how good is to be in the second week. Now I’m here. It feels good.”

Goffin advanced when 2016 semifinalist Gael Monfils retired down 7-5, 5-1 with a right knee injury.

In the other fourth round, Juan Martin del Potro will test Dominic Thiem in a rematch of their meeting a year ago when the Austrian retired due to a knee issue.

On Saturday, del Potro went to 9-0 in sets this week with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over an in-form Roberto Bautista Agut.

“I think I played the best match of the tournament,” the 2009 champ del Potro said. “I hit so well my forehand. I serve well during the whole match. I play very smart with my slice. I came to the net very often, tried to be aggressive all the time, and I think I play well.

“Bautista is very difficult guy to play. He has everything on his game and is never easy to beat one guy at level as him. I’m glad for my success.”

Thiem rallied from a break down to deny Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

On tap Sunday in fourth round action, 18-year-old phenom Denis Shapovalov returns for his third straight match on Arthur Ashe against steady Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

Sam Querrey is also on Ashe but at night against Mischa Zverev. Lone former US Open quarterfinalist in the bottom half Lucas Pouille battles Diego Schwartzman and Paolo Lorenzi tries to stop the big-serving Kevin Anderson.


Denis Shapovalov (CAN) vs. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) [12]
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) [16] vs.Maria Sharapova (RUS)
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs. Venus Williams (USA) [9]

Petra Kvitova (CZE) [13] vs. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) [3]
Sam Querrey (USA) [17] vs. Mischa Zverev (GER) [23]

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30 Comments for Federer Better, Rafa Rallies At US Open; Shapovalov Sunday

Rennie Says:

Looking at the draws in both the men’s and women’s singles, I see that Spaniards head up the remaining seedings in three of the four brackets: Rafa Nadal, Pablo Carreno Busta and Garbiñe Muguruza. Has that ever happened in a slam before, I wonder?

Two Spanish men made the French Open final a few years ago – when Nadal beat David Ferrer – and I think Arantxa Sanchez won that title in the same year that Sergi Bruguera beat Alberto Berasategui [1994]. But to have the highest remaining seed in three of the four halves after just three rounds? I suspect it is unprecedented in the Open Era.

skeezer Says:

Fed played much better against #31 seed in this tournament. Hope he keeps it up.
Dolgo has a quirky upsetting type game, but betcha Rafa will break it down once he gets settled in.
Meanwhile. Delpo is silently running through everyone in his path. Look 👀 out!

Daniel Says:

To me is pretty clear, if Fedal semis happens, one of them wins the title. No way they will lose a Grand Slam final to a first timer with the way they dominated the tour this year. They both know is too great an opportunity to miss.

If DelPo or Thiem is the last man standing from top half (which means the will have a boost win of either Fedal,maybe both) than maybe the final will be more wide open, as they can get there eventually expend.

Daniel Says:

Shapovalov holds, 3-2. Loving watch him play, hope he wins here(for my bracket also;-)

gonzalowski Says:

Shapopalov reminds me of Rafa, by its appearance and its celebrations, and a bit his plating; and maybe for their game, great drive. Better than Rafa on the hard surfeces at his age.
5-2- for him

gonzalowski Says:

Rennie it’s the Armada!!
and yesterday at soccer we beat Italia 3-0 :)

Daniel Says:

Shaped serving for first set,but 15-30 down.

gonzalowski Says:

between Rafa and Fed, if they came to semis, who bet? I maybe for Federer, Rafa is suffering a little too much

Margot Says:

Shapo is such fun to watch, just fizzes with energy and leaps around like a coiled spring. But it’s Buster takes the first set.

gonzalowski Says:

and has some nervous gestures like Rafa (well, everyone has them, I suppose)

Humble Rafa Says:

At this rate, I have acknowledge that Lefty Blondy is the new Baby Humble.

Margot Says:

Alas HR, while acknowledging that Shapo has the same nervous energy as your good self, alas I have to inform you, he plays nothing like you.
An easy mistake to make, I suppose. You’re welcome.

Emily Crow Says:

No-one seems to be able to pronounce Shapo’s name correctly in the commentary box

Margot Says:

^ They have trouble with Dolgopolov and even Djokovich! Even as they hear the umpire presumably pronouncing the names correctly, blithely on they go pronouncing then their way!

J-Kath Says:

Oh deara-me wee Deniis has another tiebreak. The wee soul is what? 18 years old?

Giles Says:

We’ll done Busta.

Daniel Says:

Too bad for shapov, but going down in 3 tiebreaks is a good result. Now giarantee main draw entrance. Hope he can get in Masters as well. Fresh air.

Great result for Carreno Busta, higher seed and somehow the favorite for finals, reach QF without losing a set.

Margot Says:

Well played PCB. Experience and steadiness won.
Hopefully Denis has many exciting, successful years in front of him.

Margot Says:

Daniel: What about Anderson for the final? If he gets through today of course.

gonzalowski Says:

Good match from both of them. Luckie Carreño because his rival has shown inexperience in the TBs, and certain wear because he comes from the Qualy

Okiegal.... Says:

Shapo, the real deal??? I don’t think so…..it was a good tight match however. I went to church…..how long did this match last???

Humble Rafa Says:

alas I have to inform you , he plays nothing like you.

After looking for 15 years, I have to take what I get. Otherwise, I will have no heirs.

Daniel Says:

Possible Margot. Anderson is sure in QF, no way he loses to Lorenzi.

Poillie down in tiebreaker versus Schwartz, that match can go the distance. Curios to see Querrery vs Zverev. My betis either Query, PCB or Anderson will be finalist now.

skeezer Says:

Querry could be a sleeper that gets through. Has had a coupe of titles this year ( and semis @ Wimby ). Would be nice to see an american get through at USO….

Daniel Says:

Pouille up a break in second set.

Seems Masha run is coming to an end.

SnotNosedKid Says:

Can’t wait for a Rublev – Carreno-Busta final

Angel Says:

The champion will be the winner of the Nadal-Federer Semifinal.

t4t Says:

Nothing is certain. I have an uneasy feeling we will have a first time champion.

James Says:

Clay counters having a field day at the USO this time. Schwartzman Busta QF? Wow. Nadal should be salivating but he has struggled a bit.

madmax Says:

I think that whilst pundits and others are talking about Federer in a much more positive light after the Lopez match, this is really a time for caution. Federer is playing, and has played, lights out tennis this year, am so, so proud of him, for him, for what he has achieved.

Nevertheless if anyone is looking beyond the next match, then think again. My heart says, come on Fed! come on! but the guy is running his body to the next match with little preparation for this tournament. Since he began the tournament with 2 five setters, I think that has shocked the system a bit, as well as the fans.

Next round, Kohlshreiber. Hoping for a three setter, but nothing surprises me these days.

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