Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer registered third round wins to move closer to their appointed meet-up in the US Open semi-final.
Federer, who had entered his third round match against Feliciano Lopez with five-set wins over Frances Tiafoe and Mikhail Youzhny, did not break into much of a sweat for his victory. He came through in straight sets, winning 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 to set up a match-up with Germany’s Philipp Kohlschrieber.
He said of his win, that followed those two five-setters:
“I’m really excited how I feel after two five-setters. It was clearly nice to go up two sets to love for a change. Feels different from there.”
Federer admitted he needed to overcome the mental side of the issue with respect to his back for his first round match. That was followed by the lack of preparation for his second round encounter where he was again stretched to the fifth set.
The top men’s seed Nadal had to work a lot harder after he dropped the first set of his encounter against lucky loser Leonard Mayer in a tie-breaker. Nadal came back to win the next three sets 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.
He will now take on Alexandr Dolgopolov, who seems to have shrugged off the allegations of match-fixing during a match at Winston-Salem earlier this year, to make the fourth round.
Dolgopolov has already bumped off Tomas Berdych in the second round before crushing Viktor Troicki last match in straight sets to advance to the round of 16.
In some of the other third round matches, ninth seeded David Goffin was leading Gael Monfils by a set and 5-1 in the second before his opponent retired from the encounter.
He will now take on Russia’s Andrey Rublev who beat Damir Dzumhur in his third round match. Rublev had earlier also stunned the seventh seeded Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in his second round win.
Sixth seeded Dominic Thiem will face Juan Martin del Potro, a former winner at the US Open, for a place in the quarter-final as well.
Both faced very little trouble winning their third round matches with del Potro overpowering Roberto Bautista Agut and Thiem sending Adrian Mannarino packing.