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Splendid shot sends Federer to next round

NEW YORK (AP) – The most piv­otal part of Roger Federer’s US Open victory over Nick Kyrgios, both men agreed, came all of 17 minutes in, when the 20-time major champion was serving at 3-all, love-40 and got out of the jam.

The most spectacular part? That came, anyone who saw it surely would agree, much later. It was the on-a-full-sprint, drop-shot-re­trieving, flick-from-a-few-inches-off-the-ground, forehand-around-the-net-post, jaw-dropping winner that Federer conjured up a few games from the conclusion of the 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 tour de force in the third round Saturday.

“Almost unreal,” said Kyrgios, who admired the bit of racket wiz­ardry with eyes wide open and mouth agape.

“A special one, no doubt about it,” declared Federer, who put it up there among his greatest hits, which, con­sidering who we’re talking about, is certainly saying something.

There’s no rule mandating that the ball travel over the net for a shot to count, but Federer pointed out that this was not the sort of thing he can try in practice, mainly because there isn’t as much room to run wide of the court as in a big arena like Ar­thur Ashe Stadium, so “you will be running into a fence.”

The No. 2-seeded Federer moved into the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the 17th consecutive appearance. He’s won five titles at the US Open, although the last ar­rived a decade ago.

While he keeps on keeping on, there are all sorts of seeds tumbling from both singles draws.

It’s most pronounced in the wom­en’s field, where 10 of the top 13 seeds already are gone as Week 1 comes to an end. No. 4 Angelique Kerber and No. 5 Petra Kvitova – owners of a combined five Grand Slam titles – exited Saturday, both at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the same new arena where No. 1 Si­mona Halep and No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki were beaten earlier in the tournament.