Federer throttles Mathieu to enter fourth round of US Open
Five-time champion Roger Federer put the seal of approval on his first week at the US Open tennis as the second seed reached the fourth round 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in a wind-swept victory on Saturday over Paul-Henri Mathieu.sports Updated: Sep 05, 2010 13:52 IST
Five-time champion Roger Federer put the seal of approval on his first week at the US Open tennis as the second seed reached the fourth round 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in a wind-swept victory on Saturday over Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Number two Federer is bidding for his seventh straight final at Flushing Meadows and would love nothing more than regain his title in eight days after losing it a year ago to Argentine Juan Del Potro.
The 29-year-old rocketed through another straight-sets sweep, his fifth win without a loss against his former rival from juniors. Federer now stands a formidable 54-5 in New York in his quest for a record 17th career Grand Slam trophy.
"They were tough conditions to play in, especially if you're down in the score," said Federer. "You could tell Mathieu was really struggling after being down in the score. His serve, his returns, everything kind of falls into pieces.
"That's what the wind can do to you. It's really hard to stay positive when you're down and the wind is the way it is, like today.
"You have to be careful with it, maybe not aim at the lines as much. But after four games or so, I knew what I could do and what I couldn't do."
Federer is competing in his 44th straight major, the longest active streak for consecutive Grand Slam events played. He ended on Saturday's match with 13 aces and 31 winners, breaking four times.
Third seed Novak Djokovic dismissed American James Blake 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 in similar blustery wind. "It felt like Hurricane Earl had come to centre court," said the Serb, who next plays Mardy Fish after revitalised American beat Arnaud Clement 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
Two-time Roland Garros finalist Robin Soderling defeated Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, while Spain's Albert Montanes advanced into the fourth round when Japan's Kei Nishikori quit injured, trailing 6-2, 2-1.
"Today was not easy. It was difficult conditions," said the fifth-seeded Soderling. "I told myself before the match, 'It's not gonna be pretty.' Under the circumstances, I played a pretty good match."
A French pair advanced, with Gael Monfils beating Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4 after the Serb had put out Andy Roddick. Richard Gasquet beat South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5.
French Open semi-finalist Jurgen Melzer of Austria, beat former finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.
Women's top seed Caroline Wozniacki continued to steamroll, crushing her third straight opponent with the loss of just one game against Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan. The bloodbath continued with Maria Sharapova's merciless, 6-0, 6-0 hammering of US teenager Beatrice Capra.
"I have been feeling good out there," said Wozniacki, who has lost just three games in three matches this week. "It just says something about how I've been playing and the level I've been playing on. It's nice."
2008 finalist Jelena Jankovic failed to reach the second week, losing 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) to Estonian outsider Kaia Kanepi.
Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva advanced to the last 16 against Alexandra Dulgheru 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).
First Published: Sep 05, 2010 13:49 IST