Roger Federer looks to continue to improve on his stunning 2017 by moving one step closer to a third grand slam, a feat he achieved last in 2007. It was the Australian, Wimbledon and US that he won 10 years ago and he is still favoured to repeat that although there are minor injury question marks. Federer will play Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber to kick off Monday’s night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Kohlschreiber has been cruising through the early rounds of the tournament but will have to raise his game several levels to keep up with Federer. His straight sets wins in the opening three rounds were all against players outside the top 100 in Santiago Giraldo, Tim Smyczek and John Millman. Federer is aware of the threat the German causes despite the 11-0 record he holds over him, including a straight sets win in New York two years ago. “He’s a good player. Got great rotation on the ball. Plays with a lot of topspin. Has a nice one-handed backhand, which I love to see, of course. He seems in good shape. He’s in good physical condition always. Prides himself on working hard. It’s different playing him in a first round than in a fourth round. I’m sure he has also gained confidence.” he said.
The absence of Novak Djokovic, Stanislas Wawrinka and Andy Murray were supposed to have made things a lot easier for Federer when it came to his chances of winning here but he hasn’t particularly looked like a tournament favourite so far. He went 5 against Mikhail Youzhny and Frances Tiafoe before injury rumours regarding his back circled prior to his round three against Feliciano Lopez. He extended his record over the Spaniard to 13-0 and was rarely troubled, backed by 13 aces and dropping serve just once. “Overall I have felt better, too. I was happy I had good energy because I think that was my biggest worry, that somehow after the two five-setters that I had, I was going to feel a little slow, hard to throw the engine on, you know, that I would have to force myself so much, I would get tired from that.” he said post-match.
Prediction – Roger Federer in three sets