While Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray headlined the evening session on Wednesday evening, Roger Federer is set to grace the United States Open with his 10th consecutive quarter-final appearance in the quarter-finals. The Swiss star will face Gael Monfils, whom he defeated recently in Cincinnati and holds a 7-2 head-to-head record against.
Second seed Federer rolled into the quarter-final with a 6-4, 6-3 6-2 win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. It was a one-sided contest for the most part and saw the Swiss star hit 36 winners and six break points to secure the win. He also approached the net more than 50 times throughout the encounter.
“I used to serve/volley some myself when conditions were faster and my baseline game wasn’t as good. I’m happy I’m able to come forward now because coming to net requires a lot of agility and explosiveness and I have it back. I’m happy I’m feeling good at net because you’ve got to anticipate some, read some and it’s working really well. I hope I can keep it up.”
In an astonishing display of patience and focus, Gael Monfils dispatched Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6(6), 7-5 to reach the quarter-final of the US Open for the first time since 2010. He will next take on Federer, whom he lost to several weeks ago.
This time, however, the Frenchman believes he is ready to perform under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“He’s definitely the legend of the tennis,” Monfils said about Federer and his forthcoming encounter. “I think right now he’s the greatest tennis player we ever had, and for me it’s always challenging to play against him. It’s always great, because no matter what, you know, I will say to my children, you know, I played against him. Even I kill him, you know. And this is cool. And when you have this chance, you know, it’s why, you know, I think I play tennis for, to against a big legend, big court, short time. That’s what I train for.
“That’s why every day I wake up and I wish I could play those matches, you know. It’s like, for me it’s the best thing can happen is to play against that guy on that stage, you know.”
This will mark the tenth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Federer leading the series 7-2. Considering their most recent encounter was just a few short weeks ago at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, there is very little to add to this that has not already been witnessed on screen. Federer himself revealed on ESPN that he already has the blueprint to defeat Monfils because he did so recently. I quite agree, particularly since he appears far more comfortable with the surface and condition in New York than in Toronto and Cincinnati.
“[After my win in Cincinnati] I know exactly how I need to play him,” Federer told ESPN of the looming Monfils clash. It’s going to be more or less the same conditions. “It’s very clear cut in my opinion. I know I’ll be coming in; he knows he’ll be defending. He’ll be wanting to serve well and play big as well. So we both know what to expect going in.”
Prediction: Roger Federer in Four Sets