Photo: Paul ZimmerSerena Williams (USA)
The form of Serena Williams looks ominous for the rest of the women’s field at the US Open after the American recorded another straight sets victory on Saturday to reach the fourth round.
Williams, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament, defeated Ekaterina Makarova 64 60 in her latest match, following wins over Coco Vandeweghe and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the earlier rounds.
After winning both the Wimbledon and Olympic grass court titles this summer, Williams came into the US Open as the favourite, despite being seeded No. 4, and so far the 14-time Grand Slam champion is living up to the billing.
Her latest victim, Makarova, was swept aside in 1 hour 21 minutes. The Williams serve was once again the undoing of her opponent as she notched eight aces and didn’t allow a single break point.
Makarova had defeated the American at the Australian Open in January, but Williams exacted revenge with this victory. The opening set was close with the first break coming at 5-4 when the Russian served to stay in, but the second set was a one-sided affair.
“I definitely was motivated [to beat her],” said Williams. "Knowing that I lost [in Australia] and that it could definitely happen again. I didn’t want that to happen, so whether I learned something, I don't know. I really hate watching matches that I lose unless I'm punishing myself.”
Next up for Williams is a fourth round showdown with Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova, which will be a first meeting for the two players. Hlavackova advanced after coming from behind to defeat another Russian, Maria Kirilenko, 57 64 64.
Agnieszka Radwanska, the No. 2 seed, was also on target on Saturday as she recorded a 63 75 victory over former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. The Pole faces Roberta Vinci, who is more renowned for her doubles prowess, in the last 16.
Vinci’s doubles partner, Sara Errani, who she won the Roland Garros title with in June, is also through after hammering Olga Puchkova 61 61. The No. 10 seed now takes on No. 6 seed Angeligue Kerber.
Ana Ivanovic was made to work hard for her place in the fourth round after battling back from a set down against Sloane Stephens during the Arthur Ashe Stadium night session, eventually winning 67(4) 64 62. Next up for the former Roland Garros winner is Tsvetana Pironkova.
Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round in the men’s event with little resistance from Fernando Verdasco. The Swiss world No. 1, chasing his sixth US Open title, but his first in four years, defeated the Spaniard 63 64 64, setting up a meeting with Mardy Fish.
Fish recorded an excellent four-set win over Gilles Simon 61 57 76(5) 63 in the late night match at Flushing Meadows. However, he’ll need to lift his game if he’s to repeat the success against Federer, a player he trails 8-1 in head-to-head matches.
There were no major shocks elsewhere as Andy Murray and Milos Raonic both won to book an intriguing fourth round clash with each other, while Nicolas Almagro, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Martin Klizan also progressed. Klizan’s victory over No. 32 seed Jeremy Chardy was the only result that resembled an upset.
Follow all the action on the official US Open website: USOpen.org