NEW YORK, August 30, 2018
Roger Federer remains unbeaten in the first two rounds of the US Open. In Thursday’s first men’s match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the five-time champion extended his head-to-head record against Frenchman Benoit Paire to 7-0.
The Swiss maestro struck 27 winners and converted five of his nine break point chances to secure a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 victory in one hour and 56 minutes.
“It’s tough to play against him, as he makes you second guess from time to time. You need to stay focused throughout the match. I am happy to be in third round,” Federer said in his post-match on-court interview.
Kyrgios through after umpire pep talk
Up next for Federer will be an interesting clash with Nick Kyrgios, who beat Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Court 17 in controversial circumstances, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-0.
Umpire Mohamed Lahyani lost patience with the under-performing 30th seed from Australia during the second set. Lahyani stood over the seated Kyrgios, berating the 23-year-old.
Kyrgios won the second set after a pep talk from the chair umpire Mo Lahyani.
A USTA rep told me it is already looking into Lahyani’s conduct in this match.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) 30. August 2018
“I want to help you,” Lahyani could be heard saying. “This isn’t you. I know that.”
Lahyani’s intervention eventually had the desired effect, as Kyrgios recovered to take the second set on a tie-break before running away with the match.
Haha IRONIC coming from someone who gets on court coaching every week of the year and also out of the US Open 😅🤣 https://t.co/hvlwPyRcSc
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) 30. August 2018
Statement from the US Open tournament referee on the incident:
“After the third game of the second set in the Kyrgios-Herbert match on Court 17, with Kyrgios down 0-3, Chair Umpire Mohamed Lahyani, left his chair to check on the condition of Nick Kyrgios. He came out of the chair because of the noise level in the Stadium during the changeover to make sure he could communicate effectively with Kyrgios.
“Lahyani was concerned that Kyrgios might need medical attention. Lahyani told Kyrgios that if he was feeling ill, that the tournament could provide medical help. He also informed Kyrgios that if his seeming lack of interest in the match continued, that as the chair umpire, he would need to take action. He again suggested to Kyrgios that he could receive medical attention.
“At the next changeover, Kyrgios down 1-4, received treatment from the physio.”
All-German third round match-up
No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev, who had been knocked out in the second round in his three previous appearances in Flushing Meadows, wrapped up an impressive 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
The German youngster will play compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber next. The Augsburg native, who is making his 16th straight US Open appearance, fought past Matthew Ebden 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2, 6-0 in two hours and 29 minutes.The head-to-head record between the two Germans is tied at 2-2, with Zverev winning the last two and Kohlschreiber winning in five sets here in New York in 2015.
Australian John Millman equalled his biggest career win after reaching the US Open third round for the second straight year by defeating the tournament’s No. 14 Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Either he or Mikhail Kukushkin, who knocked out South Korean hope Hyeon Chung, will reach their first US Open fourth-round.
Kerber and Kvitova advance
In the women’s draw, Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has made it through a tough battle against Johanna Larsson from Sweden 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to set up a third-round meeting with Dominika Cibulkova. The Slovakian 29th seed defeated Su-Wei Hsieh 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-4.
Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova was given a rough ride in the first set, but then ran away with the match against Wang Yafan of China 7-5, 6-3. The two-time US Open quarterfinalist will take on 26th-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus next.
Andy Murray left the US Open weighing up whether to squeeze one last Davis Cup trip to Glasgow into his long-term recovery plans. The 32-year-old Scot has not played in the team competition for two years but next month’s play-off against Uzbekistan at the Emirates Arena from September 14-16 could be his final chance to play in front of his home fans in Glasgow.
Murray told the BBC: “I’d have to chat to my team because this is obviously a very important period in my rehab and my long-term strategy.
“Playing five sets takes a lot out of you, which I’ve obviously learned in the last couple of days, and the Davis Cup has also taken a lot out of me. But there’s a big part of me that would love to play and get the opportunity to play one last time in Glasgow.”