Roger Federer cruised into the fourth round of the US Open on Friday while 2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori was ousted by Australian Alex de Minaur.
Meanwhile defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic, champion in four of the past five Slams and 16 overall, was less bothered by left shoulder pain that nagged him in the second round in defeating 111th-ranked American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
The 32-year-old Serbian, a three-time US Open winner, booked a Sunday showdown with three-time Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, the Swiss 23rd seed who eliminated Italian lucky loser Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 7-6 (7/4).
“That I managed to play almost pain-free, that’s a big improvement from last match obviously,” Djokovic said. “I didn’t know how my body would react. That was nice.”
Djokovic, who needed treatment throughout his second-round triumph, skipped practice Thursday in favor of shoulder treatment.
“I’m not going to go into the medical details,” he said. “But it definitely was bothering me in the past couple weeks.”
Federer routed Britain’s 58th-ranked Dan Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in only 80 minutes, blasting 48 winners to just seven for Evans, whose effort was hampered by an 18-hour turnaround between matches.
“I really enjoyed myself,” Federer said. “I was able to adjust and take care of business so it was good.”
Federer will play Belgian and 15th seed David Goffin in the next round.
Evans blasted organizers for playing him first on limited rest after a rain-delayed match on Thursday while his 38-year-old Swiss rival, a 20-time Slam champion, rested after playing Wednesday under the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I was fatigued,” Evans said. “I thought it was pretty tough I was first up after playing yesterday, if I’m being brutally honest, so it was a bit disappointing.
“Just to try and beat him feeling tired, stiff, playing four sets yesterday, it’s near on impossible, but I actually thought he played pretty much no-error tennis.”
Japanese seventh seed Nishikori was dispatched by the 20-year-old Aussie 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. De Minaur, on his deepest Grand Slam run, will face Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov next.
“This is where I feel like my game’s at. I want to be pushing second weeks of Grand Slams and putting myself out there. So very happy,” De Minaur said. “Hopefully I can just keep it rolling.”
It was the first victory over a top-10 foe in 12 tries for De Minaur, who squandered a two-set lead over 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic in last year’s Open third round.
“I had a little bit of a thriller last year versus Cilic and was two sets to love up,” De Minaur said. “I was glad I could finally get the win.”
Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev progressed to the last 16 with a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 victory over veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
The in-form Medvedev, who won the ATP Cincinnati Masters and finished runner-up in Montreal and Washington, faces 118th-ranked German qualifier Dominik Koepfer for a quarter-final place.
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x23) bt Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 7-6 (7/4)
Dominik Koepfer (GER) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x17) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-1
Daniil Medvedev (RUS x5) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4
Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Dan Evans (GBR) 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
David Goffin (BEL x15) bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (11/9), 7-5
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) bt Kamil Majchrzak (POL) 7-5, 7-6 (10/8), 6-2
Alex de Minaur (AUS) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN x7) 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
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