Murray, Azarenka through

Murray, Azarenka through

Top ranked Brit eases past Thomaz Bellucci; Cilic storms into quarterfinals

Murray, Azarenka through
Andy Murray finally enjoyed a straight-forward win after two earlier battles to advance to the fourth round of the US Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci on Saturday.

Murray had needed to rally from two sets down to see off France's Adrian Mannarino in the second round.

But despite falling a break down in the first set on Saturday, he eventually breezed to victory over the 30th-ranked, left-handed Bellucci.

Murray, who has advanced to the quarterfinals or better at his last 18 Grand Slams, next faces South Africa's 15th seed Kevin Anderson.

The big South African, boosted by a title on the hard courts of Winston Salem last weekend, made the last 16 with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3) win over Austria's Dominic Thiem.

Two-time runner-up Victoria Azarenka, the 20th seed, triumphed over 11th-seeded German Angelique Kerber in an Arthur Ashe Stadium thriller lasting almost three hours. Azarenka, whose season has been blighted by a left thigh injury, won 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 on a sixth match point having trailed 2-5 in the first set.

The 26-year-old took her record over Kerber to 5-0 on the back of 51 winners to her opponent's 46 in a merciless contest of big-hitting.

Both players saved a combined 26 break points before the Belarusian prevailed to set-up a last-16 clash with America's Varvara Lepchenko.

Fifth seed Stanislas Wawrinka, the French Open champion, made the last 16 with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 win over Belgian world number 107 Rubens Bemmelmans.

Wawrinka goes on to face unseeded American Donald Young, who pulled off his second comeback from two sets to love down to beat Serbian 22nd seed Viktor Troicki 4-6, 0-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2, 6-4.

Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych, a semifinalist in 2012, reached the last 16 for a fourth successive year by beating Spain's Guillermo García-Lopez 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 6-3.

He next plays 12th seed Richard Gasquet, one of four Frenchmen in the last 16, who defeated Australia's Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Romanian second seed Simona Halep reached the last 16 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over American qualifier Shelby Rogers.

Next up for Halep is Germany's 24th seed Sabine Lisicki, who came back from 1-5 down in the final set to defeat Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 4-6,7-5 before collapsing to the floor in floods of tears.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, the Czech fifth seed, eased past Anna Karolína Schmiedlova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-1.  She next faces British qualifier Johanna Konta, the world number 97 who beat German 18th seed Andrea Petkovic 7-6 (7/2), 6-3. Samantha Stosur, the 2011 champion and the last woman to beat Serena Williams at the tournament, battled past Italy's Sara Errani 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.

Next for Stosur is another Italian, 26th seed Flavia Pennetta, a 2013 semifinalist, who put out world number 149 Petra Cetkovska 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Five-time champion and world number two Roger Federer claimed a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber, his 10th win in 10 meetings against the 29th-ranked German, to march ahead.

Sania, Bopanna through
India’s Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna notched up contrasting victories with their respective doubles partners to reach the round of 16. Top seeds Sania and Martina Hingis stormed into the pre-quarterfinals of women’s doubles after streamrolling Swiss Timea Bacsinszky and Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Jung Chuang 6-1, 6-1 in a match that lasted an hour.

In men’s doubles competition, sixth seeds Bopanna and Romania’s Florin Mergea staved off the challenge from Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Cilic through
Defending champion Marin Cilic was the first man through to the quarterfinals on Sunday, taking down determined Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1 to extend his Flushing Meadows win streak to 11 matches.

Coming off a punishing five-setter with Mikhail Kukushkin in a third-round match that lasted four hours, Cilic took a while to find his power game but was unstoppable once he did, the ninth seeded Croat blasting 23 aces past 27th seed Chardy, who had no answer.

Results (prefix denotes seeding): Men’s singles: Fourth round: 19-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt Benoit Paire (Fra) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4; 9-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt 27-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1.

Third round: 5-Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) bt Ruben Bemelmans (Bel) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, Donald Young (US) bt 22-Viktor Troicki (Srb) 4-6, 0-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2, 6-4, 15-Kevin Anderson (Rsa) bt 20-Dominic Thiem (Aut) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3), 3-Andy Murray (Gbr) bt 30-Thomaz Bellucci (Bra) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. 

Women’ singles: 22-Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt 16-Sara Errani (Ita) 7-5, 2-6, 6-1, 26-Flavia Pennetta (Ita) bt Petra Cetkovská (Cze) 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, Varvara Lepchenko (US) bt Mona Barthel (Ger) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 20-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt 11-Angelique Kerber (Ger) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 24-Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt Barbora Strycova (Cze) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 2-Simona Halep (Rom) bt Shelby Rogers (US) 6-2, 6-3.

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