Following the announcement of the Men’s Draw for the 2014 US Open, many had circled a potential quarterfinal matchup between Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov as something they would absolutely love to see come to fruition.
Despite both men being pushed to four sets during what was an extremely humid and storm filled day in New York City, the two remained on a collision course. Federer looked absolutely awful during the early stages of his third-round match with Marcel Granollers, dropping five of the first seven games of the opening set before the rain and lightning hit.
While the delay kept the players off the court for well over two hours, it clearly turned the match in favour of the No. 2 seed. The former world number one managed to right the ship so quickly that it took him less than ninety minutes to bounce back from losing set number one and promptly bringing the Spaniard’s run to a rather predictable end.
It was certainly a sloppy start for the Swiss Maestro but by the time the final point of his 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 win was in the books, Fed had the few who had remained in attendance yearning for more. The thirty-three old was in top form, using his entire arsenal to move onto the Round of Sixteen for the fourteenth consecutive year. The only thing now standing in the way of Federer holding up his end of the bargain and advancing into the final eight will be No. 17 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, whom has yet to have had the pleasure of going head-to-head with the seventeen-time Grand Slam winner during his career.
As far as Dimitrov goes, the young Bulgarian was steamrolled 6-0 in set number one by David Goffin and looked as though he was ready to return to his pre-Wimbledon form and succumb to the pressure of playing in a major. To his credit, the twenty-three year old dug in and rolled up his sleeves and found a way to get the job done. While he was nowhere near as dominant as Federer in coming from behind, his 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 scoreline was every bit as impressive.
With that said, he will need to be much better when he takes on Gael Monfils in the next round. The fan favourite is as inconsistent a player as you will find in the upper quarter of the ATP Rankings but when he is on his game, this guy is capable of playing with any player on tour. The No. 20 seed made quick work of fellow countrymen Richard Gasquet (6-4, 6-2, 6-2) to advance on to fourth round for the first time since 2010…when he reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.
Other winners during Day Seven included No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych (6-3, 6-2, 6-4 over Teymuraz Gabashvili), No. 14 seed Marin Cilic (6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 over Kevin Anderson) and twenty year old Dominic Thiem who lost all of nine games in bouncing No. 19 seed Feliciano Lopez. However, as surprising as the Austrian’s victory was…it was not even close to being the upset of the day.
That distinction belonged to one Gilles Simon who used an uncharacteristically wild performance from David Ferrer to his advantage, to bounce the No. 4 seed from the tournament in four sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. With the win the twenty-nine year old became the third Frenchman to advance to the Round of Sixteen, joining Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who will take on Andy Murray in what could be turnout to be the match of the day over at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday afternoon.