NEW YORK: Roger Federer cruised into the last eight Sunday at the US Open while Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev took inspiration from a booing crowd to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Federer, a five-time champion at Flushing Meadows, advanced to the US Open quarter-finals for the 13th time by routing Belgian 15th seed David Goffin 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 in only 79 minutes.
“Sometimes these scores just happen,” Federer said. “You catch a good day, the opponent doesn’t, then things happen very quickly… I found my groove after a while and was able to roll really. Never looked back.
“In a fourth round like this, if you can keep it nice, short, simple, you have to take them. I’m very happy.”
The 38-year-old Swiss third seed, trying to stretch his men’s Grand Slam record title total to 21, advanced to a last-eight matchup with Bulgaria’s 78th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov.
Federer’s victory also kept him on a semi-final collision course with Serbia’s top-seeded defending champion Novak Djokovic, who plays later in Arthur Ashe Stadium against Swiss 23rd seed Stan Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion.
Djokovic, a 16-time Grand Slam champion who has captured four of the past five Slam crowns, is 19-5 against Wawrinka but they have not played since the Swiss defeated Djokovic in the 2016 US Open final.
Medvedev, a winner at Cincinnati and runner-up at Montreal and Washington in hardcourt tuneup events, advanced into Djokovic’s quarter-final path by beating 118th-ranked German qualifier Dominik Koepfer 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2).
Medvedev, fined $9,000 for an obscene gesture and unsportsmanlike conduct in a third-round victory, was booed by the crowd after the match and encouraged the jeers, waving a finger to symbolize he is number one and saying they encouraged him to keep playing while hurt out of spite.
“I was painful in my attitude,” said Medvedev. “I was painful in my shoulder. I was wondering if I was going to play. And you guys gave me the energy.
“Guys continue to give me this energy. You are the best.”
Koepfer, hoping to be the first US Open qualifier in the quarter-finals since Gilles Muller in 2008, was broken by Medvedev at love in the fifth game of the third set and the Russian held from there, then dominated the decisive tie-breaker.
– ‘Ten times tougher’ –
Medvedev is 2-3 against Djokovic, including a fourth-round loss in January’s Australian Open, but has won their two most recent meetings in a Monte Carlo quarter-final and last month’s Cincinnati semi-finals. Medvedev won his only match against Wawrinka in the 2017 first round at Wimbledon.
Federer is 7-0 lifetime against Dimitrov, who dispatched Australia’s 38th-ranked Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
“Feeling excited first to be in US Open quarter-finals for the first time. This is what I practiced for, to play those matches,” Dimitrov said.
“It’s a great opportunity for both of us. Hopefully we have a great battle and we can produce some great tennis.”
Five-time US Open champion Federer unleashed a dominant performance, improving to 9-1 all-time against Goffin.
“As soon as you get there, first match on Ashe against him, you can feel all the 20,000 people are behind him as soon as he hit the ball,” Goffin said.
“All of a sudden every shot is 10 times tougher than usually. All of a sudden what you felt the day before during practice or the last matches, it feels completely different.”
Goffin broke in the third game. Federer won the next five games to seize the opening set, 11 of the next 13 to grab command and 17 of the final 19 in stunningly rapid fashion.
“He was great but I gave him the whole match,” Goffin said. “It’s tough to say but yeah, probably my worst match against him I’ve played.”
Dimitrov faced only one break point in dispatching the 20-year-old Aussie.
“I was able to neutralize everything that was thrown at me. Played right at the important moments and that was that,” he said. “Played really well when I had to and had great composure throughout the match.”
Dimitrov struggled with a shoulder injury early this season but is finally back on form.
“I’m pleased to be back on a court pain free, feeling pretty good,” he said. I’m just really happy right now. One of first most exciting and important things is to just enjoy after getting back onto the court.”