NEW YORK – Five-time champion Roger Federer pulled out all the stops in a 6-4 6-1 7-5 victory over Australian Nick Kyrgios on Saturday to reach the fourth round of the US Open.
The second-seeded Swiss improved to 3-1 against Kyrgios in his first Grand Slam meeting with the Aussie, who was expected to pose a threat after pushing Federer to three sets in their last two ATP meetings.
Kyrgios came out firing, but once Federer had saved four break points in the seventh game of the opening set the Australian was at a loss.
Federer broke Kyrgios to pocket the first set and leave the mercurial Aussie muttering in his chair.
The second set was a master class from 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer, a frustrated Kyrgios bellowing “I need to hire a coach” as he was broken for the second time to trail 4-0.
Kyrgios buckled down to hold serve in the sixth game – fending off a break point that Federer earned with an impossible volley from Kyrgios’ sharply angled shot.
In a close-run third set, he produced another dazzling forehand from inches off the ground outside the tramlines that had Kyrgios staring in awe.
It denied Kyrgios a game point, although the Aussie held to lead 4-3.
But Federer finally gained a break to lead 6-5, and served out the match with a love game punctuated by an ace on match point.
Federer will fight for a quarter-final berth against another Australian, John Millman, who reached his first Grand Slam fourth round with a 6-4 4-6 6-1 6-3 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.