Headliners and underdogs share U.S. Open spotlight

Sun Sep 6, 2015 12:01am EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Simona Halep strolled into the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Saturday but shared the Flushing Meadows spotlight with tenacious underdogs Donald Young and Johanna Konta.

Second seed Federer took another step towards a sixth U.S. Open title with an efficient 6-3 6-4 6-4 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber while third seed Murray followed him into the fourth round with a clinical 6-3 6-2 7-5 victory against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.

It was another leisurely afternoon on Arthur Ashe Stadium court for Federer, who has yet to drop a set, though he lost his serve for the first time in the tournament as Kohlschreiber broke him twice.

Federer, who had sprinted through his first two matches with the loss of only nine games, next meets big-serving American 13th seed John Isner, who advanced when Czech Jiri Vesely retired with a neck injury when trailing 6-3 6-4.

"I think I won the big points today," said 34-year-old Federer. "I served well when I had to at the end."

Federer's Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka also took the quick route following Federer into the last 16 by breezing past Belgian Ruben Bemelmans 6-3 7-6(5) 6-4.

Richard Gasquet also wasted little time, the 12th seeded Frenchman romping to a 6-4 6-3 6-1 decision over a drained Australian Bernard Tomic, who was coming off a gruelling five set battle with compatriot Lleyton Hewitt.

Halep worked the night shift for the first time at this slam and found it to her liking as she steamrolled past American Shelby Rogers 6-2 6-3 in 67 minutes.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in their third round match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 5, 2015. REUTERS/Adrees Latif  
Picture Supplied by Action Images