New York:World number one Roger Federer, seeking his sixth consecutive US Open title and 16th career Grand Slam crown, advanced to the third round on Wednesday by defeating Germany's Simon Greul 6-3, 7-5, 7-5.
The Swiss superstar will next face Australian former world number one Lleyton Hewitt, who beat Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Federer beat the Aussie in straight sets in the 2004 US Open final.
Federer has beaten the Aussie 13 times in a row and stretching that streak on Saturday would ensure Federer remains atop the rankings no matter what happens in the Flushing Meadows fortnight.
"We've had some incredible matches," Federer said. "I'm sure it's going to be a good one."
Greul offered a somewhat grueling test for Federer, forcing him to save two set points on the top seed's serve in the 10th game before the Swiss star broke in the 11th game and held for the set.
Federer netted a backhand to surrender a break in the second game of the second set and trailed 0-30 in the fourth game before roaring back, taking six of the last seven games to move on after one hour and 58 minutes.
"I knew I could be in for a battle," Federer said. "The level was really high. There was a lot of intensity. I'm glad to get through with a win."
A record night session crowd of 24,206 watched a break with tradition as Federer played before the second-round match of defending women's champion Serena Williams.
"We're very happy from the men's side," Federer said. "It's a cool thing to start off from the day to the night. I was the one who could so it so I'm very happy."