It had the makings of a US Open classic, but the third-round clash between Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios turned out to be a pretty one-sided affair.
True to form, Kyrgios had already been responsible for some drama in New York this week after being forced to defend himself against claims that an umpire had improperly helped coach him to victory during his second-round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
When asked about the incident, Federer made it clear he thought umpire Mohamed Lahyani had stepped over the line in helping Kyrgios, adding some spice to an already spicy third-round match-up with the fiery Australian.
As it turned out, however, Kyrgios was no match for Federer on the day, as the Swiss ace wrapped up a 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 victory in just one hour and 46 minutes to book his place in the fourth round.
17th straight appearance in R4 in Flushing Meadows…
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 1, 2018
Kyrgios is a big talent, but tends to only turn up on occasion, and he never really seemed like a serious threat to Federer this time around.
His biggest chance of the match probably came at 3-3 in the first set. Having done well to match Federer on serve early on, Kyrgios piled on the pressure during a marathon seventh game to earn four break points.
A break at that point could have put serious doubt in his opponent’s mind, but Federer weathered the storm, and after seven deuces and four break points saved, holding serve felt like a victory.
Those missed opportunities would cost Kyrgios dear a couple of games later. Serving to stay in the match at 4-5, the Australian handed Federer an opening, which he duly took, pouncing on only his second break point of the match to snatch the first set like a thief in the night.
Federer’s stealth attack appeared to knock the stuffing out of Kyrgios, who coughed up two more breaks in quick succession, allowing Federer to race to a 5-0 lead before wrapping up the second set shortly after.
To Kyrgios’ credit, he showed more fight in the third, but he wasn’t able or willing to attack Federer’s serve with any real fire, and the 20-time Grand Slam champion rarely looked troubled.
With Kyrgios serving at 5-5, Federer asked the question again, and Kyrgios could only reply with two unforced errors to hand his opponent the break.
From there, Federer served out the match with ease to set up a fourth-round clash with another Australian, John Millman.
“Nick came out firing a lot aces and feeling good,” said Federer. “I was struggling with my backhand. If he had broken in the sixth game [three break point] he would have run away with it and won the first set.”
There was also a classic Federer moment in the third set when he pulled off an audacious shot around the net instead of over it.
Here you go with ESPN commentary! @rogerfederer you freaking God!!
Kyrigos 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Gd08IZU8Xn
— Kshitij (@HoldsToLove) September 1, 2018
“The funny thing about that shot was I didn’t think about it until I hit it,” he said. “On a doubles court you never do it but only do it on a court this size. There was a bit of luck, but also good feet. I went for it so I deserve it.”