Ruthless Federer races to Monaco victory

New York: Roger Federer was left waiting until almost midnight to start his U.S. Open fourth round match on Monday, but made up for the delay with a brutal 6-1 6-2 6-0 win over Argentine Juan Monaco to reach the quarter-finals.

The five-time champion took the first set in 18 minutes and maintained his rapid pace as the third-seeded Swiss eliminated his unseeded opponent in just 82 minutes under the Arthur Ashe Stadium court floodlights.

"I`m very happy with the way I played," the 30-year-old Federer told the crowd in a courtside interview.

Asked about firing away on all cylinders right from the start, Federer said: "I think you have to be ready. It is a very late start. I`m happy that so many people stayed. It`s nice."

Federer, who more than doubled the number of points won by the overmatched Monaco, won one game with the fewest possible strokes, firing four aces past Monaco in his opening service game of the second set.

Asked if he thought about achieving the perfect service game, Federer said sheepishly, "Of course.

"You don`t get a chance that often. It`s only a game, only a few points, but it`s sure nice to win that way instead of having to go for a 10-minute game."

Monaco said he had no chance against Federer at his ruthless best.

"Roger was playing unbelievable," Monaco told reporters. "I didn`t have time to play. The ball was coming very fast. He was serving unbelievable."

The lightning-quick win, which came as rain clouds gathered and mist filled the air at the National Tennis Center, marked the Swiss master`s 30th successive trip to the quarter-finals of a grand slam event, dating back to the 2004 French Open.

The 16-time major champion advanced to a mouth-watering clash against 11th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who rallied to overcome eight-seeded American Mardy Fish in five sets earlier in the day.

Tsonga has won his last two matches against Federer, coming back from two sets down to beat him in this year`s Wimbledon quarter-finals.

"He`s a tough player. I`ve had some really good matches against him," said Federer, who has a 4-3 career record against the Frenchaman.

Bureau Report

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