With all three of their previous meetings requiring a third-set tiebreak to decide the winner, a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium had expected high drama but instead witnessed a rout as Federer recorded his third win against the unpredictable Australian, Reuters reported.
While the 37-year-old Federer has mined the most out of his immense skill to capture a record 20 Grand Slam titles, including five U.S. Opens, Kyrgios remains one of the sport’s great enigmas, widely viewed as one of tennis’s great talents and biggest underachievers.
While Federer is usually all business and Kyrgios the showman, the roles were reversed midway through the third set on Saturday when the Swiss produced a trick shot that left the Australian wide-eyed and open mouthed.
Chasing down a cheeky drop shot, the Swiss hit it inches off the ground and curled it around the net post for a ridiculous winner that earned him a standing ovation from the hollering crowd.
“If anyone else is doing those shots against me, I’m probably not too happy. But it’s Roger,” smiled Kyrgios. “It was almost unreal.
“Almost got to the point where I wanted him to start making shots like that, and I finally got it.”
Cool, controlled and clinical, Federer fans can count on the very best from the Swiss each and every time he steps onto the court.
Novak Djokovic enjoyed his first routine victory at this year’s US Open at the third attempt on Saturday as the two-time champion eased into the fourth round with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over flamboyant Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
The sixth-seeded Serb needed four sets to despatch his first two opponents, struggling especially in the opening round against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in searing daytime temperatures at the start of the week.
However, the Wimbledon champion started brightly under the floodlights at Arthur Ashe Stadium against the 26th seed and never looked back, sealing a comfortable triumph in two hours and 11 minutes.
“It was my best match of the week so far, without a doubt,” Djokovic told reporters. “One of the best performances I had in the hard court season after Wimbledon.
“I thought I was playing on a very high level from the first point. Very, very pleased with the performance.”
Next up for the Serb, however, is a last-16 clash with unseeded Portuguese Joao Sousa.
“He’s a fighter, he’s a grinder,” Djokovic said. “He will not hand you the victory, you’ve got to earn it... I’m really glad I didn’t spend too much time on the court tonight. I’m going to get some rest and move on to the next one.”
“Look, I know that I’m clear favorite in the match. At the same time I will try to maintain the level of focus and performance and level of tennis that I’ve had today. If it’s like that, then I have a good chance to win.”
Seventh seed Marin Cilic was forced to recover from two sets down to battle past Australian teenager Alex de Minaur 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in a marathon contest that went deep into the night at the US Open on Saturday.
Cilic, the 2014 champion, may have been justified in expecting an easier pathway past the third round, but the 19-year-old De Minaur has already earned a reputation for having an abundance of fighting spirit in his relatively short career.
“Incredibly happy, it was just an insane atmosphere,” Cilic said on the Louis Armstrong Stadium court after setting up a last-16 meeting with David Goffin.
“Incredible fighting spirit. He played some amazing tennis. I was just a little bit luckier today.
“It doesn’t get any better. What time is it? Two-thirty in the morning and everybody staying around? To come from two sets down, it’s one of the best matches in my career.”