Federer downs Mannarino to reach fourth round

Five-time US Open champion Roger Federer has cruised into the fourth round, crushing Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 on Saturday night.

The left-handed World No. 63 saved three match points, including one courtesy of a double fault from Federer, but was unable to hold off the 17-time major winner.

The Swiss seventh seed needed just one hour and 21 minutes to post the victory, during which he saved the only break point he faced.

"There's always a lot of pressure coming out here on this court to perform, because you never know if you're going to play well," Federer said immediately after the match, to the crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium. "Tonight was one of those nights."

"I think I was able to really use my serve well. Because it was breezy tonight again, I used the wind a bit better and I had more variation than him, which gave me more margin in my game," said the right-hander, who lifted his win-loss record in Arthur Ashe night matches to 22-1. "I won the first set and I was able to play with the lead...that makes things easier."

The former World No. 1 acknowledged that he imposed his game and power against his younger opponent. "He plays quite unusual...he's got a very short take-back and he hits extremely flat, as flat as anybody out there, especially on the backhand side," observed Federer.

The father-of-two said his back is no longer troubling him.  "I'm not scared of getting injured anymore," Federer told Jim Courier in a post-match television interview. "I'm happy to take full flight and chase every ball, which is key if you want to win this tournament."

It sets up a round of 16 clash against 19th seed Tommy Robredo, who ended the run of Great Britain's Daniel Evans, 7-6(6), 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

"I think he's a very good player, mentally and physically really tough. I think he showed that in Paris this year, I think he won three five‑setters in a row," said Federer, referring to Robredo's consecutive victories over Igor Sijsling, Gael Monfils and Nicolas Almagro. "He's also a player I've known since a long time, he came through the juniors with me...I know his game well, he knows mine really well."

Federer holds a 10-0 Head ot Head lead over the 31-year-old Spaniard, though the pair haven't met since the 2011 Australian Open.

"Usually when you play against one of the best players ever, it's normal that your head-to-head is down," said Robredo. "It's a good opportunity to try to change it. I will try everything, I will try to recover as well as possible to see if I can have a great battle against him."

Should Federer maintain his undefeated record against Robredo, he could meet World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in a highly anticipated quarter-final.

''I don't look ahead, even though I understand the urge of the press to try to go there already, which is entirely normal. I have gone through that my entire career, people talking about our matches even before the tournament started,'' Federer said. ''We're used to it. We know how to handle it. Clearly I think we both hope it's going to happen this time, for the first time in New York.''

Federer was asked whether he was disappointed at all that Saturday's match was so short, depriving him of a chance to enjoy the electric atmosphere that often accompanies night sessions in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

''I like it like this, you know,'' Federer said with a smile. ''I like three hours, five hours, too - as long as I end up winning them.''

Date: 1st September 2013, Source: ATP and AP


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