Federer sets up clash with big serving Isner
AFP · 6 Sep 2015, 20:53
Published: 06 Sep 2015 20:53 GMT+02:00
- Swiss pair rolls into US Open third round (04 Sep 15)
- Federer advances after effortless win over Mayer (01 Sep 15)
- Federer starts bid for sixth US Open title (01 Sep 15)
Federer, 34, hoping to become the oldest champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970, will next face US 13th seed John Isner, who progressed after Czech opponent Jiri Vesely retired with a neck injury after dropping the first two sets.
Federer has now reached the fourth round in New York for the 15th year as he looks to return to the final for the first time since 2009.
"I won the big points today, I served well when I had to, even though it was up and down for both of us," said Federer, who will take a 4-1 career lead over Isner into their fourth round clash.
World number two Federer, who has not won a slam title since Wimbledon in 2012, has defied time with runs to the Wimbledon final this year and last.
"As he gets older he seems to keep getting better," said Isner, who meets Federer on Monday.
"It's unbelievably impressive what he's continuing to do. He is playing at a very high level right now. I have the utmost respect for him. At the same time, I feel like I can challenge him on Monday.
"It's what I work so hard for, to get an opportunity like this. I'm going to have fun with it. At the same time, I'm going to go out there and believe that I can win."
Isner rates Federer with the best returners in the sport, especially with a new chip-and-charge tactic in his portfolio.
"He has that chip return that no one else has. That's the shot that gets him in points," Isner said.
"From that, his talent and skill and everything, everything takes over. He's able to get a lot of balls back, and he uses his incredible skill and athleticism to win points after that."
Isner will face Federer in the same Arthur Ashe Stadium where they first met in 2007 in a third-round match.
Isner took the first set in a tie-beaker and Federer took most everything thereafter.
"Absolutely no pressure on me that day, and I honestly probably didn't believe I could beat him, either," Isner said.
"I was happy to be on that court. I was fresh out of college and no one knew anything about me. He certainly didn't. I won one set, which was incredible. Didn't win much after that."