|Roger Federer chases down a ball during his night-match win over Adrian Mannarino of France|
Roger Federer continued his strong showing at the US Open this year with his best victory yet, losing only 5 games en route to a 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 victory over World No. 63 Adrian Mannarino of France. It was another excellent performance by Roger, one in which he clinically dismantled his opponent and conserved his energy all at the same time, making it clear he wants to make a deep run at this tournament. It was his first night match this year, and also his first against a left-hander - both were good things for Federer, who will most probably face Nadal at night if both of them make the quarters. Admittedly, Mannarino is nowhere near Nadal's high level, but a solid match against a lefty is bound to give Roger good practice and confidence. The match stats are as below -
|(C) Reproduced from www.usopen.org|
Federer won his only break point in the first set to take it 6-3, and then broke Mannarino thrice in the second set to serve up his first bagel of the tournament. The break point conversion rate was 3/8 in the second and 2/5 in the third for a 6/14 stat for the match, which is still on the lower side - given players like Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, Roger can't afford to squander these many break points. Still, his serving was much better today, as he faced only one break point the entire match - he saved it comfortably in the first set, and then did not face another for the next two sets.
His 1st serve percentage was back up to 57%, with an extraordinary 92% first serve points won stat (best of the tournament so far) and 50% second serve points won. He had a good winners-to-unforced errors ratio of 34/20, which was good considering the slightly heavier conditions in night matches on Ashe. Again, he won 19 of 24 net approches which was excellent, and really emphasizes how much Federer has worked on getting to the net in these early matches - many experts believe approaching the net is the way around Nadal, so Roger should focus on net play as much as is possible (and he is doing this).
As always, here is the break-up of each player's winners and unforced errors by IBM.
|(C) Reproduced from www.usopen.org|
This match was a bit different in the type of winners that Federer hit, with 4 approach shot winners off the forehand side, and multiple backhand winners in overheads, passing shots, volleys and ground strokes. As always, his forehand groundstroke remains his most potent weapon, smashing 8 winners off that side, but the thing to really notice was that Federer hit more forehand unforced errors than backhand ones, which has not been the case for the past two matches.
In the post-match interview, this is what Roger Federer had to say.
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. 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 my game. I won the first set and I was able to play with the lead, that makes things easier. 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.Asked about his back, Roger said,
I'm not scared of getting injured anymore. I'm happy to take full flight and chase every ball, which is key if you want to win this tournament.Roger will now face Tommy Robredo of Spain, the No. 19 seed in the Round of 16 who ended Britain's Daniel Evans' run at the US Open in four tough sets 7-6, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. On his next opponent, this is what Roger had to say.
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. 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.The 10-0 head-to-head speaks volumes about how much domination Federer has had over his veteran opponent Robredo, but the pair haven't met since the 2011 Australian Open, where Federer was pushed to 4 sets. He should win this in straight sets to maintain momentum leading up to the blockbuster quarter-final with Nadal that the world is waiting for.