Federer beats Kyrgios to reach last 16 of US Open

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2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Five-time champion Roger Federer weathered an early storm to beat Australian Nick Kyrgios in three sets and reach the US Open last 16.

Federer, 37, saved four break points in a mammoth seventh game in the first set, going on to hold and then break at 5-4 for the opener.

After that, Kyrgios lost focus as Federer wrapped up a 6-4 6-1 7-5 win in one hour 44 minutes.

The Swiss second seed will next face Kyrgios’ compatriot John Millman.

Federer, who has won a record 20 Grand Slam titles, has not triumphed in New York since 2008.

After losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, he took a break from competitive action as he made regaining the US Open crown a “bigger priority”.

So far it has paid dividends as he has reached the last 16 for a 17th successive time without dropping a set.

Kyrgios, the 30th seed, failed to go beyond the third round at Flushing Meadows for a sixth time.

Hold saved the first set – Federer

The first potential five-set match between Federer and 23-year-old Kyrgios threw up an intriguing battle between two of the sport’s most contrasting personalities.

Kyrgios, often erratic and regularly courting controversy, had said he could cause problems for Federer over the longer format and, briefly, it looked as though he might.

Federer’s serve came under pressure in a rapid start as Kyrgios dropped only one point in his first three service games.

Then Federer came through a stern examination in game seven, one which ultimately enabled him to turn the set – and the match – in his favour.

Leading 40-0, Kyrgios produced two unforced errors on his way to wasting three break points and then another in deuce when an accurate first serve from Federer was followed by an inch-perfect inside-out forehand down the line.

Although he kept fighting with an aggressive approach that yielded a pair of brilliant winners, Federer had enough guile to see out a vital hold after nine minutes and 18 points.

“He came out firing a lot of aces, I was struggling with my backhand earlier on,” Federer said.

“If he breaks then he would probably have run away with the first set. So it was particularly crucial.”

More to follow

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