Federer too strong for Kyrgios at US Open
Nick Kyrgios cannot contain five-times champion Roger Federer as the Swiss wins their US Open contest in straight sets.
Roger Federer delivered a tennis masterclass to knock Nick Kyrgios out of the US Open in New York.
The 20-times Grand Slam champion produced some at times breathtaking shot-making in sweeping past Kyrgios 6-4 6-1 7-5 in their much hyped third-round showdown at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I didn’t play my best tennis, but he played really, really well,” said Kyrgios. “I couldn’t have done much today, I thought.
“He’s played on that court hundreds of times. He’s much more experienced. It didn’t come down to that today.
“He was way too good. Obviously not at my best, but that’s how he makes you play. He makes the court feel really small at times. If you’re not serving well, he takes advantage of it. He was too good.”
Federer’s emphatic victory set up a last-16 meeting with another Australian, unseeded John Millman, on Monday.
Saturday’s blockbuster was billed as the match of the first week.
In a bold statement of intent, Kyrgios stole a move right out of the Federer playbook with an audacious SABR (sneak attack by Roger) on his opening return of the match.
Without sounding like a fanboy, congrats to @rogerfederer today. Too good on the day, GOAT. Good luck extending that lead, go get 21. Everyone else, thanks for the support during @usopen sorry I couldn’t get it done today. #MuchLove ❤️🙏🏽
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) September 1, 2018
The daring ploy didn’t pay immediate dividends, but it wasn’t long before Federer was looking unsettled as Kyrgios continued to apply offbeat tactics.
Not for the first time, but certainly for the first time while actually playing Federer, Kyrgios even mimicked the great Swiss’s service motion in the fourth game.
He had the five-times champion down 0-40 in the seventh game, Federer needing to stave off four break points to keep the Australian at bay after a ferocious early fight.
Federer’s tenacity reaped rewards as the second seed took the opening set with a backhand return pass on a rare Kyrgios serving lapse.
The setback marked the beginning of the end for Kyrgios, who dropped serve again, from 30-0 up, to fall behind 3-0 in the second set.
Kyrgios started as the entertainer but it was now Federer putting on the show, the 20-times major winner flicking a sublime backhand winner and then rifling a forehand cross court to charge to 5-0 before seizing a two-sets-to-love lead with his 10th ace.
He had lost just three times in an incomparable 1424-match career from such a commanding position and wasn’t about to suffer a fourth such defeat at the hands of Kyrgios.
Five of the pair’s previous six sets contested had gone to tiebreakers, but it was clear Federer was up for this one.
Even Kyrgios could only marvel “oh my god” in disbelief as 37-year-old Federer pulled off a lunging forehand on the run around the net post as he closed in on victory in the third set.
“It was almost unreal,” Kyrgios said later. “Almost got to the point where I wanted him to start making shots like that, and I finally got it. I was pretty happy with myself.”
The match was as good as over when the five-times champion broke Kyrgios for a fourth time for 6-5, before closing out victory after one hour and 44 minutes.