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Top seeds Williams, Djokovic romp in U.S. Open

NEW YORK — From an ace on the first point to a stinging return on the last, Serena Williams was close to perfect in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

The score said it all Tuesday night: 6-0, 6-0.

Yes, Williams is looking better and better with each match at the year's last Grand Slam tournament. With two more wins she'd earn a fifth title at Flushing Meadows and 17th major championship overall.

The No. 1-ranked and No. 1-seeded Williams shut out No. 18 seed Carla Suarez Navarro, the first "double bagel" in a quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows since 1989, when 18-time major title winner Martina Navratilova did it to Manuela Maleeva.

"When you play against Serena," Suarez Navarro said, "you know these things can happen."

Williams won 53 of 71 points and dominated pretty much every statistical category. The first set took all of 19 minutes. The second was slower, lasting 33 minutes, but no less lopsided.

Williams was asked whether she would describe her performance as close to flawless.

"Of course not," the defending champion said with a laugh. "I played good, though. I played really good. I was just more focused than anything. You know, I like to believe there is room for improvement."

That might be bad news for her opponent in Friday's semifinals, 2011 French Open champion Li Na of China.

The men's top seed wasn't quite as dominant but close to it. Novak Djokovic won 45 of 53 service points while eliminating 43rd-ranked Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 in only 79 minutes.

Djokovic, who won the 2011 U.S. Open and lost last year's final to Andy Murray, reached his 18th consecutive major quarterfinal.

Next up is No. 21 Mikhail Youzhny, who was two points from defeat before coming back to edge two-time major champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 7-5.

Murray stumbled at the end of his first set, dropping four points in a row, but overcame windy conditions and 65th-ranked Denis Istomin 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in the night's final match. Murray next faces No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka, who reached his second Open quarterfinal by beating No. 5 Tomas Berdych, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.

The third-seeded Murray reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for the third consecutive year.

Li, the fifth seed, needed nearly 2½ hours to get past No. 24 Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.

On three occasions, Li went up a break in the second set, nearing eventual victory each time, but could not finish things. She then led 3-0 in the tiebreaker before faltering. Still, she recovered well.

Li has only defeated Williams once in nine career meetings.

"Tough, tough opponent," Li said. "But is (a) good challenge to play against her."

The No. 2 women's seed, Victoria Azarenka, advanced to a quarterfinal meeting against Daniela Hantuchova by rallying against No. 13 Ana Ivanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. While the other women's Round of 16 matches were Monday, the Azarenka-Ivanovic match was postponed by rain.

Men

Fourth round Quarterfinals Semifinals Championship Semifinals Quarterfinals Fourth round
1. N. Djokovic 8. R. Gasquet
1. N. Djokovic 8. R. Gasquet
M. Granollers 10. M. Raonic
Thursday, ESPN2/ESPN Today, ESPN2
21. M. Youzhny 18. J. Tipsarevic
21. M. Youzhny 4. D. Ferrer
L. Hewitt 4. D. Ferrer
Saturday, noon, Ch. 10 Monday, 5, Ch. 10 Saturday, noon, Ch. 10
3. A. Murray 7. R. Federer
3. A. Murray 19. T. Robredo
D. Istomin 19. T. Robredo
Thursday, ESPN2/ESPN Today, ESPN2
9. S. Wawrinka 22. T. Kohlschreiber
9. S. Wawrinka 2. R. Nadal
5. T. Berdych 2. R. Nadal


Women

Fourth round Quarterfinals Semifinals Championship Semifinals Quarterfinals Fourth round
1. S. Williams C. Giorgi
1. S. Williams 10. R. Vinci
15. S. Stephens 10. R. Vinci
1. S. Williams Today, ESPN2
18. C. Suarez Navarro 21. S. Halep
18. Suarez Navarro F. Pennetta
8. A. Kerber F. Pennetta
Friday, 12:30, Ch. 10 Sunday, 4:30, Ch. 10 Friday, 12:30, Ch. 10
3. A. Radwanska A. Riske
24. E. Markarova D. Hantuchova
24. E. Markarova D. Hantuchova
5. Li Na Today, ESPN2
9. J. Jankovic 13. A. Ivanovic
5. Li Na 2. V. Azarenka
5. Li Na 2. V. Azarenka

Top seeds Williams, Djokovic romp in U.S. Open 09/03/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 12:25am]

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