Roger Federer will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, in a rematch of the Wimbledon quarters earlier this year, after he cruised to a straight-sets victory against Juan Monaco in the early hours of Tuesday.
Their match was delayed due to the preceding women's match in the court, and it wasn't until 23:50 local-time when the match began. However, the 30-year-old did his part and cruised past Monaco with a 6-1 6-2 6-0 in just 82 minutes.
The late start seemed to have no effect on him, as the five-time champion served out the first set in just 18 minutes, breaking twice in quick succession. He continued the form into the second set and asserted himself even more in the third when there was light rain in the air. At one point, the Swiss hit four successive aces and wrapped up proceedings by 01:13 in the morning.
Federer had restricted Monaco to just three games, and afterwards said that he was used to late starts.
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You have to be ready, he said. I knew I was going to play late and there were all kinds of possibilities that they might move us to another court. As tennis players we're used to it.
It's tough for Juan. I've been in that position before when I lost badly on this court to Andre Agassi, so I know what it feels like.
Sometimes it's just not your day, but it was mine tonight and it feels great.
However, Federer will face a much bigger challenge in the quarterfinals when he faces 11th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, against whom he lost at the same stage in Wimbledon earlier this year despite taking a two-set lead. Tsonga came out on top against American eighth seed Mardy Fish 6-4 6-7 3-6 6-4 6-2 in grueling encounter to seal his berth in the quarters.