Roger Federer is back.
After going five sets during the first two rounds of the US Open, the Maestro took out the No. 31 seed Feliciano Lopez, 6-3 6-3 7-5.
“I just needed — like you need in practice sometimes before a tournament, you just need the hours, you know, to put the hours on the new court, the new conditions, whatever it may be.
“So I guess I maybe needed just a few hours here on this court. I needed to get over the fear of the back issue, especially in that first match, the first set. Then I think the wobble I had in the second round was due to my preparation. I think now I’m just trusting my movement better. My serve is there. My mind is there. I can finally focus on playing tennis and not so much, you know, about the past. So it’s nice to be in the present in my mind, looking ahead, thinking tactics.”
With all the talk of a wide open tournament – and that’s true with women’s draw and the bottom half of the men’s – Federer and Rafa Nadal are still the two names to watch here and still the favorites to win the whole thing.
And the Maestro knows that and he is also thankful to be around after the first two five setters. Now into the second week, he is looking for the prize and a semifinal matchup with the No. 1 seed.
“At the top we actually really have good players left,” he said. “A lot of them can play at a very high level. They’re all facing off now. I think it’s an exciting tournament. I’m happy I’m still around.
“Rafa fought well through again today. I’m happy for him, too. We’ll see if it gets done or not. I’m curious to see myself.”
Today, Federer took full control from the outset not letting Lopez get any breath takin the first two sets rather easily.
And now Federer is more confident when it comes to his game going into next week.
“I think this way we rolled the dice a little bit. Now we are in the fourth round and things are looking much better. I’m really excited how I feel after two five-setters,” he said. “They weren’t even that tough, to be quite honest because there was a lot of 6-1, 6-2 sets. I play pretty fast. I’m confident, you know, in my physical shape. I’ve done well in five-setters lately. I’m happy that today was straight. But I’m feeling better also. I dug out some great shots today which ended up being crucial, too.”
It looks like he’s back and it’s bad news for the rest of the draw.