US Open 2018: Roger Federer beats Nick Kyrgios to reach fourth round

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport at Flushing Meadows
Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer
Federer lost his first meeting with Kyrgios in 2015, but now leads 3-1 against the Australian
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Five-time champion Roger Federer withstood early pressure to beat Australian Nick Kyrgios in three sets and reach the US Open last 16.

Federer, 37, saved four break points in a mammoth seventh game in the first set, going on to hold and then break at 5-4 for the opener.

After that, Kyrgios lost focus as Federer wrapped up a 6-4 6-1 7-5 win in one hour 44 minutes.

The Swiss second seed will next face Kyrgios' compatriot John Millman.

Federer, who has won a record 20 Grand Slam titles, has not triumphed in New York since 2008.

After losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, he took a break from competitive action as he made regaining the US Open crown a "bigger priority".

So far it has paid dividends as he has reached the last 16 for a 17th successive time without dropping a set (not including 2016 when he missed the tournament).

Kyrgios, the 30th seed, failed to go beyond the third round at Flushing Meadows for a sixth time.

Hold saved the first set - Federer

The first potential five-set match between Federer and 23-year-old Kyrgios threw up an intriguing battle between two of the sport's most contrasting personalities.

Kyrgios, often erratic and regularly courting controversy, had said he could cause problems for Federer over the longer format and, briefly, it looked as though he might.

Federer's serve came under pressure in a rapid start as Kyrgios dropped only one point in his first three service games.

Then Federer came through a stern examination in game seven, one which ultimately enabled him to turn the set - and the match - in his favour.

Leading 40-0, Kyrgios produced two unforced errors on his way to wasting three break points and then another in deuce when an accurate first serve from Federer was followed by an inch-perfect inside-out forehand down the line.

Although he kept fighting with an aggressive approach that yielded a pair of brilliant winners, Federer had enough guile to see out a vital hold after nine minutes and 18 points.

"He came out firing a lot of aces, I was struggling with my backhand earlier on," Federer said.

"If he breaks then he would probably have run away with the first set. So it was particularly crucial."

Outrageous shots show why Federer is not ready to retire

Roger Federer
Federer said the incredible shot that found its way round the net post was "definitely a bit of luck and good feet"

Federer, who made his Flushing Meadows debut in 2000, laughed off more questions about retirement after beating France's Benoit Paire on Thursday, saying he had heard "the R word" for much of the past decade.

And the Swiss continued to defy the ageing process against one of the most talented players of the younger generation.

His speed of thought and flight of foot remains as impressive as ever, illustrated perfectly by two winning shots which led the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium to rise to its feet.

As Kyrgios started to unravel and trail 4-0 in the second set, Federer ended a brief rally at 15-30 with a dart from the behind the baseline to reach a drop-shot with a swooping backhand which he pushed across the court to safety.

Remarkably, it was only his second best shot of the match.

That was topped by an outrageous forehand which he whipped around the net post from a few inches above the ground at 3-3 in the third set, leaving an astounded Kyrgios only able to offer congratulations to his opponent in response.

Federer even allowed himself a wry smile.

At that point Kyrgios was making a fight of the third set, thriving on the charged atmosphere to keep it on serve.

However, his service games were becoming increasingly difficult and he buckled as Federer broke for a 6-5 lead.

Federer hit an ace down the middle on his first match on point to seal an authoritative victory.


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