US Open: Roger Federer breezes by Yoshihito Nishioka

Easing through Roger Federer celebrates after defeating Yoshihito Nishioka

Easing through Roger Federer celebrates after defeating Yoshihito Nishioka

Asked whether the Federer of 2009 would beat the Federer of 2018 at Flushing Meadows, the Swiss said: "I really hope that this guy would win today just because I feel like I've improved many things over the years".

In the other quarter of the bottom half of the draw, No4 seed Zverev reached the third round in NY for the first time with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over lucky loser Nicolas Mahut, 15 years his elder.

Next up for Federer in the third round will be the talented but maddeningly inconsistent Kyrgios, who rallied from a slow start to defeat Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-0 on Thursday, turning the match around after a controversial incident in which the umpire came down from his chair and appeared to give the 23-year-old Australian player a pep talk.

Carreno Busta, who reached the semifinals past year in Flushing Meadows, was unable to duplicate his run, forced to retire from his match because of left thigh pain.

This year he says regaining the US Open title is one of his "bigger priorities".

"I want to thank the US Open for allowing us to have a 10-minute break after the third set".

It was enough for the Swiss man's purposes-an 18-0 record in Round 2 matches in NY, and the No2 ranking come September, which had been up for grabs by Juan Martin del Potro or Alexander Zverev should Federer fall short of Round 3. For a player who has won the US Open five times, winning a round or two will never be enough. Federer looked sharp in his straight-set, first-round victory against Yoshihito Nishioka, while Paire struggled to register a hard-fought, four-set win against Austrian qualifier Denis Novak. Federer, a five-time champion hit a total of 56 winners which is way above Nishioka's 17 as the decorated Grand Slam victor gets ready to play Benoit Paire of France in the next round. It's great to have played also a good first round against an entertaining first-round opponent.

The topic of when the 20-time Grand Slam champion ― now ranked second in the world ― might hang up his racquet so exercises the press that even a casual comment can get antennae quivering.

German fourth seed Alexander Zverev hit 37 winners on his way to dispatching lucky loser Peter Polansky 6-2 6-1 6-2 in an hour and 35 minutes.

The onslaught continued in the second set as Federer raced 3-0 ahead, before he clinically turned three break points for Nishioka into a hold with the help of three aces.

Despite missing colossal chances to take both of the opening two sets, Novak was still in the match and he had three break points in the fifth game of the third set.

Whoever wins, however, knows already that they will face an unseeded man in the fourth round.

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