NEW YORK – Roger Federer and John Isner each advanced in straight sets Saturday afternoon in Flushing Meadows, setting up a fourth-round meeting between the highest-ranked American and the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
Federer advanced to the fourth round here for the 15th year in a row with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Federer has yet to drop a set in this tournament. The only blemish in his latest dominate performance came when Kohlschreiber broke him in the second set. That snapped Federer’s 72-game serving win streak.
The win set up the meeting with big-serving Isner, who advanced when Jiri Vesely retired after two sets. Isner had won both sets. Vesely was the 14th player – 12 of them men – to retire mid-match this week, a record for Grand Slams.
Isner and Federer first met at the U.S. Open eight years ago, when Isner was fresh out of college. The young Bulldog took one set off Federer, but that was about it.
«I’m a different player,» Isner said, reflecting on the match. «I’m a much better player.»
«It’s unbelievably impressive what he’s continuing to do,» he said. «Of course I have the utmost respect for him. At the same time, I feel like I can challenge him on Monday.»
«He’s got a great second serve, as well,» Federer said. «Best-of-five you feel like you have a bit more time, but clearly he can also run three, four, five sets serving great. It’s going to be a tough match.»