Roger Federer def Phillip Kohlschreiber 64 62 75
Philipp Kohlschreiber is a journeyman. For 10-years, he’s been a consistent top-50 player. In a world where media obsession focuses on the Big Four, the casual tennis fan sees Philipp as nothing more than a supporting actor, if he’s seen at all. I’d argue that regular appearances in the final 16 of Majors, 22 wins over top-10 players, over 400 tour-level match victories, and 8 titles in 17 finals defines a successful tennis career. However, most will say he’s just another guy who can’t beat Roger Federer.
We’re both right
In his 12th attempt at the 19-time Grand Slam Champion, Philipp Kohlschreiber got spanked. After Philipp’s straight-sets wins over Tim Smyczek, Santiago Giraldo and John Millman, plus Roger’s struggles through the first two rounds, it appeared Kohlschreiber might have a chance; but Roger was coming off his first flawless match of the tournament, a 3rd-Round thumping of Feliciano Lopez, and he was in rhythm from ball-up.
Both held serve through set-1’s second changeover, then Roger earned his first break. On his next service game, Federer won it at love, punctuating his dominance with ace #4. In 38-minutes, Federer was up a set. The second took only 27-minutes. On-serve at the first changeover, Roger went on a tear and won the final five games.
Proof of a wounded GOAT
Before the third, Roger took a medical timeout off the court. When he returned, he spent little time in his chair during the changeovers. Clearly, the ailing back was real. For the first time in 8-days, the evidence was obvious.
The 5-time US Open Champ focused on shortening points in the third. His play at the net was part masterful, part sloppy. Thankfully, at 4-all, he scored a timely break, then served out the win. In his 17th US Open, for the 12th time, Roger Federer has advanced to the Quarterfinals, but at what cost?
Considering his “bum,” this could be the end of the line
In the post match interview on court, there was a comical exchange between Roger and Brad Gilbert, who asked: “Why did you take the medical timeout off the court?” Roger told fans he needed a rub down on “his bum,” and didn’t necessarily think that was something everyone wanted to see.
The truth? With an ailing back (or bum), this year’s Quarterfinal is a nightmare scenario for Federer. He will face Juan Martin del Potro, who ended Roger’s five-year US Open sweep back in 2009.
Earlier today on Grandstand, Delpo – struggling with a fever – overcame 2 match points to comeback and defeat World #8 Dominic Thiem. It was a dramatic victory, similar to his defeat of Novak Djokovic at last year’s Summer Games in Rio; a 1st-Round win that ultimately propelled him to the Gold Medal match. Hay fever aside, Delpo’s wrist has held firm through four rounds, and he’ll be the healthier of the two come Wednesday.
The Quarterfinal will be the 22nd meeting between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro. Roger easily won their most recent match earlier this year in Miami, but his back was in tact. We’ll see what he has left for one of the most clutch performers in the history of the ATP World Tour.