WHAT HAPPENED: World No. 2 Roger Federer turned in a vintage display to move past Nick Kyrgios, 6,4, 6-1, 7-5, and advance to the fourth round of the 2018 US Open on Labor Day Saturday.

For all the pre-match talk about the expectations on Kyrgios and how he would handle his first marquee contest inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was Federer who drew all the plaudits and proved once more that he is in a class of his own.

The Swiss dropped just eight points on his first serve in 15 games, recorded 51 winners to 24 unforced errors and saved all four break points he faced in a peerless display of shot-making.

Federer looked a little tight early on, but he showed characteristic patience, even when he struggled to get the booming serve back into play. 

The five-time US Open champion erased four break points at 2-2 in the opening set—an unreturnable serve, a pair of Kyrgios backhand errors and a forehand winner down the line—in an 18-point game that featured five deuces. Kyrgios never crafted another break point in the remainder of the match.
 
Federer earned his first break point after 34 minutes, with Kyrgios serving at 4-5. And while the Australian fought that one off with an inside-out forehand down the line, he was unable to save the second one; Federer threading the needle with a sliced backhand return down the line on a 95-mph second serve. 
 
Kyrgios dropped just five points on his serve in that set—four in one terrible game—and that was more than enough of an opening for Federer to seize the advantage and never look back.
 
Federer broke much earlier on the second set, painting the baseline with a deep return and forcing Kyrgios to hit his forehand into the net. He earned a double break in the fourth game behind two perfect passing shots, one from each doubles alley, and an ill-advised Kyrgios drop shot hit from halfway between the baseline and service line that barely reached the net.
 
It wasn’t like there was an apparent lack of effort, something Kyrgios has been chastised for in the past, just that Federer turned in the type of vintage, unwavering performance that saw him lift the title in Flushing Meadows every year from 2004-08.
Federer, who had 15 winners to three miscues in an essentially faultless second set, closed out the set to love, with three aces in a row to establish a 2-0 lead as the clock surpassed the hour mark.
 
Kyrgios, who lost 16 of 30 points coming forward to the net, saved two break points at 3-3 in the third set, the most entertaining game of the match and the one that injected the most life into the packed 24,000-seat stadium. 
 
The point of the match, and one of the shots of the tournament, came when Federer blocked Kyrgios' 124-mph serve to the backhand and the Aussie guided a drop shot cross-court toward the photographers’ pit. Federer chased it down, scooping the ball inches from the concrete and guiding it around the net post from the unlikeliest of positions. It left Kyrgios bemused and smiling, an appreciation that wrapped around a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium.
 
For his part, Federer remained stone-faced, refusing to get caught up in Kyrgios' shenanigans, as the No. 30 seed laughed to himself and stared at the replay in disbelief.
 
It proved to be the last moment Kyrgios would enjoy. He lost a 40-15 lead at 5-5, handing Federer what proved to be the decisive break with a pair of errant forehands that gave the world No. 2 the chance to serve it out to love for a spot in the fourth round.
 
Kyrgios had flashes of brilliance, but he never looked like a winner against the indefatigable Swiss, who threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the men's field with an emphatic display that looked like he's already in championship form on the tournament's first Saturday.
play video Highlights: Roger Federer vs. Nick Kyrgios - Round 3
 
WHAT IT MEANS: Federer is into the Round of 16 for the 17th time in 18 trips to New York. He's made it to at least the quarterfinals a dozen times since 2004, and he's only lost more than four games in a set twice in three matches this week in the Big Apple.

Another Australian, unseeded world No. 55 John Millman, awaits Federer in the fourth round after he recorded consecutive four-set wins over No. 14 seed Fabio Fognini and unseeded Mikhail Kukushkin. Federer won their only previous match in Brisbane in 2015, rallying from a set down to seal a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

For Kyrgios, he exits in the third round for the third time in five US Open appearances, which means he'll end 2018 without a Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance for the third consecutive year.

MATCH POINT: Eight of the previous nine sets between Federer and Kyrgios were decided in a tiebreak. There was no chance of that trend continuing Saturday, with Federer dropping a combined 12 games in a straight-sets victory.