Coming into his first career meeting with his 31-year-old opponent, Federer had claimed his seventh ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati title. After his first-round victory over Leonardo Mayer at Flushing Meadows, he has now won his past seven matches. Federer finished the match with 11 aces, winning 86 per cent of first-serve points and clocked 46 winners to Darcis’ eight.
Only twice had Darcis beaten a Top 10 player in the ATP Emirates Rankings – Tomas Berdych at the London 2012 Olympics and his most famous win against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon 2013. Federer would not be his third on Thursday. It was uphill from the get-go. Darcis was broken three times to concede the opening set in just 22 minutes.
Forced into error on the forehand side he relinquished the double break in the second to hand the World No. 2 the set, 6-2. In cruise control, Federer ran away with the third set, sealing the match with a forehand winner to set up a third-round meeting with No. 29 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The German posted a comprehensive 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2 victory over Czech Lukas Rosol. Kohschreiber hit 29 winners and won 84 per cent of first-serve points in the 113-minute encounter. He has never beaten Federer in nine previous attempts.