Federer Matches Agassi's US Open Quarter-final Mark
Roger Federer played just two hard-court matches leading into this year’s US Open. But after dropping the opening set in each of his first two matches at Flushing Meadows, the five-time champion has found his rhythm in New York.
Third-seeded Federer defeated No. 15 seed David Goffin 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 after one hour and 19 minutes on Sunday to reach his 13th US Open quarter-final, tying former World No. 1 Andre Agassi for the second most in the Open Era. It is also his record-extending 56th trip to the last eight of a Grand Slam.
"Sometimes these scores just happen. You catch a good day, the opponent doesn't, then things happen very quickly. Maybe he struggled a bit early on," Federer said. "But I found my groove after a while and was able to roll, really. Never looked back."
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*to play Sunday evening
No player has won the US Open after losing the first set in each of his first two rounds. But Federer has steadily improved his level as he continues chasing a 21st Grand Slam trophy. Against Goffin, the 102-time tour-level titlist crushed 35 winners and made only 17 unforced errors.
"David wasn't nearly as good as I expected him to be. He was struggling a little bit today," Federer said. "I was able to take advantage of it, and I think that's the key. In a fourth round like this, if you can keep it nice, short, simple, you have to take them. I'm very happy."
In the opening stages of the match, it seemed Goffin — who reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati — may challenge for his second FedEx ATP Head2Head victory against Federer after breaking for a 2-1 lead in the opening set. The Belgian had defeated the Swiss on a big stage before, doing so at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.
But Federer responded in a major way, immediately breaking back and during one stretch winning 18 of 20 points. It proved too difficult for Goffin to hold his serve throughout the match. The rallies were clearly on Federer's racquet, breaking on nine of his 10 opportunities and winning 60 per cent of his first-serve return points.
When Federer came to net, he was in strong position to do so, winning 19 of 23 points when he ventured to net. Goffin on the other hands did not able to enjoy the success, emerging victorious on just four of 11 trips forward. The 28-year-old also uncharacteristically made more than double the number of unforced errors (17) as he hit winners (8).
Federer lost six games in the first set of each of his first two matches this US Open. In the third round, he dropped five total games against Daniel Evans and against Goffin, the Swiss lost only four total games.
Did You Know?
Federer's past two matches have been the fastest completed matches in the men's singles draw at this year's US Open. The Swiss beat Evans in one hour and 20 minutes before ousting Goffin in one hour and 19 minutes.