Roger Federer is three wins away from his sixth career U.S. Open title after Monday's fourth-round victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City.
He cruised past the No. 33 seed in straight sets—6-4, 6-2, 7-5—sending notice to the rest of the field in the process after he missed the 2016 U.S. Open following knee surgery. Federer didn't allow a single break on his serve, overwhelming Kohlschreiber and never granting him a legitimate opportunity to play his way back into the match down the stretch.
Monday's match represented more head-to-head dominance for the 19-time major winner, who has never lost in his career against Kohlschreiber.
It also represented a newfound dominance in this year's event after his straight-sets win over Feliciano Lopez in the third round. Federer was significantly tested with five-set marathons in the first (Frances Tiafoe) and second (Mikhail Youzhny) rounds, but he seems to have found his footing as he puts the back injury that kept him out of the Western & Southern Open further in the rearview mirror.
ESPN.com noted it was the first time in Federer's career his first two matches at a Grand Slam event went to a decisive fifth set.
There was no need for a fifth set Monday thanks largely to the No. 3 seed's serve. He finished with 11 aces to Kohlschreiber's four, while winning 88 percent of his first-service points, per the tournament's official website.
As if that weren't impressive enough, he didn't even face a break point throughout the match and took advantage of his chances by winning four break points of his own.
The only real drama came when he temporarily left the court after the second set, and BBC Tennis provided his answer when asked about the pause:
Kohlschreiber didn't lose a set in his first three matches of the tournament, but that quickly changed against the all-time great. Federer notched a devastating break to move up 4-3 in the first after he fell behind 40-0 in the game.
The one break was all he needed as he remained on serve and clinched the opening set:
Federer broke earlier in the second set to move ahead 3-2 and then gave himself additional breathing room with another break on the way to a straightforward 6-2 showing. He was in complete control before the second was even over, as Kohlschreiber didn't have much of a chance against the Swiss star's serve.
Kohlschreiber rediscovered his serve during the third set but still didn't have an answer on the return. He pushed it to 5-5 by holding serve for much of the set, but just like the first, all it took was one break from the five-time U.S. Open champion to clinch the set.
Federer now turns his attention to a quarterfinal match against Juan Martin del Potro with a potential semifinal showdown against Rafael Nadal looming.