Red-hot Federer in a hurry
Tsonga lies in wait once again
Last Updated: 06/09/11 7:32am
Federer beat Monaco virtually with his eyes shut
Five-time champion Roger Federer reached a record 30th consecutive grand slam quarter-final by crushing Juan Monaco at Flushing Meadows early on Tuesday.
In a match that did not start until 11.50pm local time after the marathon encounter between Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova, Federer took only 18 minutes to wrap up the first set and continued in the same vein to triumph 6-1 6-2 6-0.
He is likely to have a much tougher time in the last eight, though, with big-hitting Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - who has beaten Federer in their last two meetings - lying in wait.
The third seed looked like he meant business straight away, firing winners off both wings and it took Argentinian Monaco until the sixth game to get on the board.
Another break at the start of the second set was not a surprise but Monaco, who had given Federer a good test in both their previous meetings, at least had slightly more success, although he did suffer the indignity of a complete game of aces against him.
He battled to hold onto his serve in a lengthy fifth game, at one point turning to his box with his arms outstretched as he sought an answer to the Federer onslaught.
But if there was a way to stop the Swiss, Monaco certainly could not find it, and another break in the seventh game put Federer well on his way to victory.
Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors' record for the latest finish at the US Open of 2.26am did not look in any danger at all as the third seed made another blistering start to the third set.
This time there was not even the consolation of a game for poor Monaco, ranked 36th in the world, as Federer wrapped up victory in an hour and 22 minutes at 1.13am.
The 30-year-old had sympathy for his opponent, saying: "It's tough for Juan. I've been in that position before when I lost badly on this court to Andre Agassi, so I know what it feels like.
"Sometimes it's just not your day, but it was mine tonight and it feels great."
Of the late start he added: "You have to be ready. I knew I was going to play late and there were all kinds of possibilities that they might move us to another court. As tennis players we're used to it."
A game of aces was also a nice bonus for Federer. "You don't get the chance that often to do that," he said.
Federer knows things are about to get much tougher but he is looking forward to clashing again with Tsonga, who came from two sets down to win in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in June.
The Swiss added: "He's a tough player. I've had some really good matches against him. They're always a bit crazy, a bit up and down. I'm looking forward to it. He's an exciting player to watch and to play. I hope I can play as well as I did tonight, then I'll give myself a chance."