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Roger Federer easily reaches US Open's 4th round


September 01. 2013 12:36AM
Associated Press



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(AP) Quick as can be, Roger Federer moved into the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the 13th year in a row.


Finishing points with early winners from all angles, 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer raced through a 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 victory over 63rd-ranked Adrian Mannarino of France in only 1 hour, 21 minutes Saturday night.


Through three matches, Federer has spent 4 hours on court, dropping a total of only 21 games.


"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," said Federer, who compiled a 34-8 edge in winners, "but tonight was one of those nights."


Summed up Mannarino: "He was playing too good for me, that's for sure. ... I was making a lot of mistakes, but that's because of Roger. He's playing too fast."


Federer, who won five consecutive U.S. Opens from 2004-08, next plays 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain. Federer has won all 10 of their previous matches.


If Federer makes that head-to-head record 11-0, he could face 12-time major champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals in what would be the rivals' 32nd meeting but first at Flushing Meadows. Not only have they met at each of the other Grand Slam tournaments, they've met in the final at Wimbledon, the French Open and Australian Open.


Against Mannarino, Federer dealt just fine with the swirling wind in Arthur Ashe Stadium, seizing control without a hint of trouble. One key: Federer repeatedly whipped deep returns off the left-handed Mannarino's soft second serves. Another: Federer won 36 of 39 points on his first serve.


"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," Federer said. "I won the first set and I was able to play with the lead, and that makes things easier, as well."


A run-around, inside-in forehand return winner off a 90 mph second serve gave Federer a break to 3-1 in the first set, establishing a pattern.


Mannarino, whose fourth-round appearance at Wimbledon this year was his best showing at a major tournament, fell to 0-7 against players ranked in the top 10. That includes an 0-3 mark against Federer, losing all eight sets between them.


Federer has been ranked No. 1 for more weeks than any man in history, but he's currently No. 7, his lowest spot since 2002. He has won one title in 2013, dealt with pain in his lower back and experimented with using a larger racket head.


And his record streak of reaching the quarterfinals at 36 straight Grand Slam tournaments ended with a second-round loss at Wimbledon to an opponent ranked outside the top 100.


So far at the U.S. Open, though, he has looked good. It's the 56th consecutive major tournament Federer has entered, tying the men's record held by Wayne Ferreira.


___


Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich


Associated Press


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