Roger Federer won in straight sets for the first time in this year’s U.S. Open, downing Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the round of 16. Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, didn’t have to sweat even a bit for a berth in the 3rd round after his Australian opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis retired hurt before play could start.
Federer, the No. 3 seed and five-time champion at Flushing Meadows, dropped the first set in his previous two rounds but that was not an issue against the 58th-ranked Evans. Federer blasted 48 winners and served up 10 aces en route to the victory, his 18th straight third-round win at the Open.
Next up for Federer is the winner of the match later Friday between 15th-seeded David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta.
Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova overcame her emotions and an inspired opponent to advance to the U.S. Open round of 16, downing Ons Jabeur 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Pliskova, a former No. 1 who reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2016, won despite looking out of synch for much of the match. After Jabeur took treatment on her right knee at the end of the first set and began winning in the second, Pliskova smashed her racket in frustration, earning a warning from the chair umpire.
But Pliskova relied on a strong serve game to get it back on track. And Jabeur, a Tunisian who had been seeking to become the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, faltered down the stretch. Though she cracked 49 winners, she also had 43 unforced errors, 17 of them in the final set.
Next up for Pliskova is the winner of the match later Friday between No. 16 Johanna Konta and No. 33 Zhang Shuai.