New York: Roger Federer said he was sick and tired of complaints that he received a favourable playing schedule after his latest US Open victim suggested on Friday the five-times champion gets preferential treatment.
Federer began day session on Arthur Ashe Stadium against Briton Dan Evans, who because of rain earlier in the week did not finish his second-round match until Thursday afternoon.
Evans looked tired from the outset of his third-round loss to Federer, who completed his previous match under a closed roof on Wednesday, but the Swiss great said his team did not demand an early start time but were asked if they had a preference.
“That doesn’t mean like, ‘Roger asks, Roger gets’. Just remember that, because I have heard this shit too often now,” said Federer. “I’m sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.
“We can give our opinion. That’s what we do. But I’m still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 4:00 in the morning.” Federer, who is seeking a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title, also pointed out that whatever time Evans finished his second-round match he was always going to be at a disadvantage.
Still, the 38-year-old Swiss said he understood Evans’ frustration at the quick turnaround but was not about to apologise for something that was out of his control.
“That’s tennis. It’s entertainment, and the show must go on,” Federer said after his 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 win. “Luck was on my side. There you have it. So, yeah, I understand if Danny is, like, a little bit frustrated.”
While Evans admitted that Federer was simply too good, he also pointed out that he was trying to beat the Swiss while tired a day after a four-set match was “near on impossible.” Evans also suggested that there are about three players who have a say in when they play their matches and when asked if his team requested a later timeslot, he shot back and asked if a player ranked 58th would actually have a say in the matter.
But there were plenty of players, including world number one Novak Djokovic, who leapt to Federer’s defence.
“He deserves the special treatment because... (he’s) arguably the best player ever,” Djokovic said last November.
“If he doesn’t have it, who is going to have it? People want to see him play on the centre court, and they want to see him play in showtime, the best hours, which is 7:30 at night.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic silenced concerns about his left shoulder as the Serbian breezed past American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Friday to reach the last 16.
Djokovic’s title defence looked to be in jeopardy in his previous match when he received treatment on his shoulder several times, an issue which he said had impacted his serve and backhand.
Six-time champion Serena Williams registered a decisive win over Karolina Muchova from Czech Republic to enter the pre-quarterfinals. Williams defeated Muchova 6-3, 6-2 after converting five of nine break points against the Wimbledon quarter-finalist.
The No 8 seed American was broken back midway through the second set, but it was an otherwise flawless display from the 37-year-old in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Men’s singles (third round):
Roger Federer (3), Switzerland, def. Daniel Evans, Britain, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Alex de Minaur, Australia, def. Kei Nishikori (7), Japan, 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. David Goffin (15), Belgium, def. Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9), 7-5. Stan Wawrinka (23), Switzerland, def. Paolo Lorenzi, Italy, 6-4, 7-6 (9), 7-6 (4). Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria, def. Kamil Majchrzak, Poland, 7-5, 7-6 (8), 6-2. Dominik Koepfer, Germany, def. Nikoloz Basilashvili (17), Georgia, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-1.
Women’s singles (third round):
Karolina Pliskova (3), Czech Republic, def. Ons Jabeur, Tunisia, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Petra Martic (22), Croatia, def. Anastasija Sevastova (12), Latvia, 6-4, 6-3. Ashleigh Barty (2), Australia, def. Maria Sakkari (30), Greece, 7-5, 6-3.
Serena Williams (8), United States, def. Karolina Muchova, Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-2. Johanna Konta (16), Britain, def. Zhang Shuai (33), China, 6-2, 6-3. Wang Qiang (18), China, def. Fiona Ferro, France, 7-6 (1), 6-3. Elina Svitolina (5), Ukraine, def. Dayana Yastremska (32), Ukraine, 6-2, 6-0. Madison Keys (10), United States, def. Sofia Kenin (20), United States, 6-3, 7-5.