By Chris Oddo | Sunday, August 31, 2014
After a shaky start and a rain delay, Roger Federer reeled off 18 of 20 games to reach the US Open's round of 16 for the 14th consecutive year.
Photo Source: Getty
Roger Federer overcome a nervy start, a prolonged rain delay and the loss of the first set to Marcel Granollers on Sunday in New York, eventually emerging with a runaway 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory to reach the US Open’s fourth round for the 14th consecutive year.
“At that point you're not really concerned if there's five people in the stadium or 20,000,” Federer said. “Really it's about getting back into the match. I thought it all worked out well at the end for fans, TV, us as well.”
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In an odd situation, the players returned to action after a prolonged rain delay at 5-2 in the first set to an empty stadium. The tournament elected to end the day session and begin the night session, even though the Federer-Granollers match had begun as the final match of the day session. With fans confused and scrambling to get into the stadium, and the tournament rushing to ensure it finished the day’s matches, it took about 20 minutes before there was any atmosphere in the cavernous stadium.
Though Federer seemed sharper after the rain delay, that didn’t help him avoid getting broken in the final game to hand the red-hot Granollers the first set.
“He was doing a lot of things really well,” Federer said of Granollers. “It was just, for me, going to be one of those things to like weather the storm and see if he could maintain that level of play or not and if I could lift my game up and see how that matched up. I think overall it worked out great at the end.”
Things did work out great for the five-time US Open champion, once he put the first set behind him. After Granollers held to open the second set, Federer went on to reel off 18 of the final 20 games to race to the victory, and in those three sets he produced several gems for the highlight reel.
Federer finished with 57 winners (13 aces) against 27 unforced errors, and he saved the last five break points he faced to set up a fourth-round encounter with Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion gave a quick assessment of the Spaniard while in a press conference after the match: “He's quick on his feet,” he said. “He doesn't miss much. He's consistent. He's got a pretty good first serve. He's overall a solid player.”
With the victory the 33-year-old Federer improves to 52-9 on the season and 70-9 lifetime at the US Open. If he wins his next match he’ll tie Pete Sampras and Bill Tilden on the all-time US Open win list.