Serena powers past Russia’s Makarova, Murray defeats Lopez to enter round four
Top-ranked Roger Federer continued his dynamic US Open form in near-tropical conditions on Saturday while fourth seed Serena Williams braved the steaming heat to avenge a shock defeat she suffered in January.
With a potential semifinal showdown with Federer looming, Andy Murray remained in the hunt for his first grand slam crown by defeating Spain's Feliciano Lopez to reach the fourth round.
Women's second seed Agnieszka Radwanska set up a fourth-round tussle with Italy's Roberta Vinci by stopping Jelena Jankovic 6-3 7-5 at a steamy Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"With the hot conditions you really have to fight yourself more than your opponent," said Pole Radwanska, a sentiment echoed by several players.
Federer cruised past Fernando Verdasco 6-3 6-4 6-4 in two hours and two minutes, blasting seven aces and 30 winners against the 25th-seeded Spaniard. The Swiss master, however, deviated from his normal baseline game and rushed the net 27 times, a tactic that earned him 26 points.
Federer has not lost a set at the US Open this year, as he moves closer to a sixth title at the National Tennis Center. Next up is American Mardy Fish who beat Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-1, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.
Verdasco, 28, had 35 unforced errors and 10 double faults as he lost to Federer for the fifth time in as many meetings.
Like Federer, Williams has not lost a set but needed a break of serve in the final game of the opening set to grab the momentum as she ousted Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 6-0.
Makarova buckled under the pressure of her first-set letdown and was blown away in the second in just 32 minutes. The Russian knocked out Williams in the fourth round of this year's Australian Open and the American said she was motivated to turn the tables at the year's final grand slam tournament.
Williams punished Makarova on Saturday, enjoying a 31-10 advantage in winners and claiming all eight of her service games.
Murray, who won Olympic gold last month, recovered from a mid-match lapse to defeat Lopez 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-6 in three hours and 53 minutes.
The professional tennis career of Kim Clijsters officially ended on Saturday when the Belgian lost in the second round of the mixed doubles event at the US Open.
The four-times Grand Slam winner, partnered by American Bob Bryan, lost to Russian Ekaterina Makarova and Brazilian Bruno Soares, losing 2-6, 6-3, 10-12.
The three-times US Open singles champion said she would like to be remembered for always giving 100 percent effort. "I always tried to give my best," she said.
Sania wins, Bopanna out
Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands entered the women’s doubles third round 6-4, 6-2 win over Croatian Darija Jurak and Hungary’s Katalin Marosi.
In mixed doubles, Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina defeated the American-Filipino combine of Raquel Kops-Jones and Treat Conrad Huey 6-4, 7-5.
Rohan Bopanna and his Chinese partner Jie Zheng bowed out, losing 2-6, 5-7 to the Australian-Dutch duo of Anastasia Rodionova and Jean-Julien Rojer.
Results (Third round, prefix denotes seeding):
Men: 23-Mardy Fish (US) bt 16-Gilles Simon (Fra) 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3; 6-Tomas Berdych (Czech) bt 27-Sam Querrey (US) 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3, 6-2; 15-Milos Raonic (Can) bt James Blake (US) 6-3, 6-0, 7-6(3); 3-Andy Murray (Bri) bt 30-Feliciano Lopez (Spa) 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(4); 1-Roger Federer (Swi) bt 25-Fernando Verdasco (Spa) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; Martin Klizan (Svk) bt 32-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4; 12-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt 17-Kei Nishikori (Jpn) 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3; 11-Nicolas Almagro (Spa) bt Jack Sock (US) 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-1.
Women: 12-Ana Ivanovic (Srb) bt Sloane Stephens (US) 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2; 10-Sara Errani (Ita) bt Olga Puchkova (Rus) 6-1, 6-1; 6-Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Olga Govortsova (Brs) 6-1, 6-2; Andrea Hlavackova (Czech) bt 14-Maria Kirilenko (Rus) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4; Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) bt Silvia Soler Espinosa (Spa) 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3; 4-Serena Williams (US) bt Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) 6-4, 6-0; 2-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) bt 30-Jelena Jankovic (Srb) 6-3, 7-5; 20-Roberta Vinci (Ita) bt 13-Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) 6-2 7-5.