Roger Federer Coasts to 4th Round of 2017 U.S. Open with Win vs. Feliciano Lopez

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2017

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates a point against Feliciano Lopez of Spain during their 2017 US Open Men's Singles match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT        (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
DON EMMERT/Getty Images

Third-seeded Roger Federer rolled into the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Saturday night with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5, win over No. 31 Feliciano Lopez in the third round at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.

Federer remains in search of his third Grand Slam title this year, and his sixth career U.S. Open championship, having last won the tournament in 2008.

With the exception of last year when he missed the U.S. Open due to injury, Federer has now reached the fourth round in 16 consecutive U.S. Opens.

The 36-year-old veteran needed just one hour and 46 minutes to dispatch Lopez in a match that saw his serve broken just once.

Federer will move on to face Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Round of 16.

There were questions about Federer's health and form entering Saturday, but his performance laid many concerns to rest.

The Swiss superstar moved well despite a back injury that recently forced him to skip a hard-court tournament in Cincinnati.

He also bounced back nicely after being forced to five sets in each of his first two matches at the U.S. Open against Frances Tiafoe and Viktor Troicki, respectively.

As seen in the following video courtesy of the U.S. Open, Federer's weapons were working well in the early going, including his picture-perfect backhand:

Federer also served great from the start of the match and carried that dominance through until the end.

He won 85 percent of his first-serve points overall and did plenty well on second serves by winning 58 percent of those.

Federer also had 13 aces, one of which came in the first set and moved him into second place all-time on the career ace list, per Jose Morgado of Diario Record:

Lopez gave Federer little trouble in either of the first two sets, as the favorite cruised to 6-3 victories in each to move to within one set of the fourth round.

BBC's David Law noted that Federer's third-round awakening was reminiscent of what he did earlier in the year at the Australian Open:

Fed went on to win that tournament and re-establish himself as the player to beat in men's tennis, and he undoubtedly looked the part Saturday.

Lopez refused to go down without a fight in the final set, and he managed to bounce back from a Federer break by breaking the 19-time Grand Slam winner for the first time in the match.

The Spaniard had an opportunity to serve his way into a third-set tiebreak, but Federer broke him for the fifth time in the match to take the set 7-5 and seal the triumph.

Lopez has one of the biggest serves on tour, but Federer handled it impressively, which bodes well for him since a quarterfinal meeting with Dominic Thiem or Juan Martin del Potro looms should he defeat Kohlschreiber.

Calling Federer's career series with Kohlschreiber one-sided would be an understatement, as he holds an 11-0 edge.

With Federer righting the ship against Lopez, he and Rafael Nadal once again appear to be on a collision course for the semifinals. 

Related

    Ronaldo and Serena defy the race against time for elite athletes | Paul MacInnes

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    Ronaldo and Serena defy the race against time for elite athletes | Paul MacInnes

    Paul MacInnes
    via the Guardian

    Rank these 10 memorable moments in ESPYS history From Jamie Foxx’s tennis balls to Drake’s side pieces to LeBron James’ prerogative

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    Rank these 10 memorable moments in ESPYS history From Jamie Foxx’s tennis balls to Drake’s side pieces to LeBron James’ prerogative

    Martenzie Johnson
    via The Undefeated

    BBC coverage: British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships on the BBC

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    BBC coverage: British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships on the BBC

    BBC Sport
    via BBC Sport

    Rejuvenated Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic looks to New York | Kevin Mitchell

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    Rejuvenated Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic looks to New York | Kevin Mitchell

    Kevin Mitchell
    via the Guardian