Federer makes winning start
Originally published on 11/10/17 00:00
The world No.2 showed fleeting glimpses of his outstanding quality as he overcame his tenacious opponent for a fourth time in a row to set up a last sixteen showdown with Alexander Dolgopolov, who defeated Feliciano Lopez 7-6(4) 1-6 6-4.
Federer showed little of sign of rust in the early stages as he quickly found his rhythm and range. He achieved a break of serve in the sixth game – after the Argentine miscued a dropshot – and he was firmly in the ascendancy.
Schwartzman has made significant progress this year and his return of serve is perhaps his strongest asset. The 26-year-old unleashed a pair of stinging returns in the seventh game as he surprised the pro-Federer crowd and responded immediately.
There were to be no further break of serve in the first set, despite a number of closely contested games, and a tiebreak was called into action.
Schwartzman established a 2-0 advantage in the shootout but he quickly squandered his lead as uncharacteristic mistakes crept into his game. Federer won five points in a row to effectively seal the all-important opener.
Federer made a fast start in the second set and a well-directed forehand return winner earned him an immediate break. It was a lead he was able to protect until he reached the desired six-game mark.
Rafael Nadal’s extended his winning run to 13 matches as he eased to a 6-2 6-1 triumph over the hapless Jared Donaldson in just 54 minutes.
The young American stayed with his illustrious opponent for the first four games but he was soon on the end of a heavy defeat as the world No.1 showed no mercy.
Nadal was outstanding, especially in the second set, and he dominated his rival’s tentative second serve from the outset. The top seed will face familiar foe, Fabio Fognini, in the third round on Thursday.
Grigor Dimitrov’s grit and determination was evident in his narrow victory over Ryan Harrison. The Bulgarian was forced to save three match-points before squeezing beyond his American rival 3-6 6-3 7-6(6).
He will take on Sam Querrey, another London hopeful, in the last sixteen. The No.10 seed took out his compatriot, Frances Tiafoe, 6-3 7-6(7)
Kevin Anderson’s hopes of qualifying for the World Tour Finals suffered a dent as he lost out in two-tiebreak sets to Jan-Lennard Struff. Gilles Simon ended David Goffin’s productive spell in Asia 7-6(4) 6-3 and John Isner edged a close duel with Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(2) 7-6(9).
Alexander Zverev was required to play just four games before Aljaz Bedene retired with a knee injury for a second tournament in succession – and Steve Johnson brushed past wildcard entry, Di Wu, 6-2 6-1.