NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Grand slam king Roger Federer showed off his fitness by sprinting into the round of 16 at the U.S. Open on Saturday, beating Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-0 6-2 to turn out the lights on Day Six of the tournament.
Playing the closing contest of Saturday’s night programme, Federer ran through games as though he had a taxi cab waiting outside the stadium with the meter running and hurtled past the unseeded Frenchman in 81 minutes.
The one-sided victory moved Federer, the greatest grand slam men’s title winner of them all with 17, into a fourth-round clash with Spain’s Tommy Robredo, who earlier beat British qualifier Dan Evans.
The 32-year-old Swiss has won all 10 of his previous matches against Robredo.
Federer might not want to get ahead of himself, no matter how quickly he moves past opponents, but it was hard not to notice that he was now one step away from a potential quarter-final showdown with rival Rafa Nadal.
”Tonight was one of these nights, I was able to play a really great match,“ Federer said. ”I‘m very pleased about the outcome.
”I was able to really use my serve well, because it was breezy tonight again so I was able to use the wind a bit better. Maybe I had a bit more variation than him that allowed me more margin in my game.
“Once I had the first set I was able to play with the lead, which makes things a little more easy as well.”
It got so easy for Federer that he yielded just 11 points to the Frenchman in the second set. In the match, the Swiss slashed 34 winners to eight for his 25-year-old opponent.
Federer showed absolutely no signs of the back issues that have limited him at times in 2013, a year that has seen him win just one tournament title and his U.S. Open seeding slip to seventh, his lowest mark in a decade.
A second-round elimination at Wimbledon led some to question whether the Swiss master was slowing down.
The masterclass he gave on centre court of the National Tennis Center seemed to allay those concerns.
At one stage, Federer was playing at such a pace the local broadcaster was unable to get through their commercials before the players were back on court and fans watching on television rejoined the match in the middle of the next game. (Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Nick Mulvenney)