Serena, Wozniacki roll into fourth round at U.S. Open

Serena Williams serves to Victoria Azarenka during their match at the U.S. Open. (REUTERS/Lucy...

Serena Williams serves to Victoria Azarenka during their match at the U.S. Open. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

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, Last Updated: 10:15 PM ET

Three-time champion Serena Williams and world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki were a pair of easy third-round winners Saturday at the U.S. Open.

The former No. 1 Williams, seeded 28th this year, doused fourth-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) in 1 hour, 47 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams flattened Azarenka in 28 minutes in the lopsided first set, but the Belarusian got into the match in a high-quality second.

The great Williams was leading 5-3 in the second set before Azarenka overcame a love-40 deficit by saving three straight match points. The Belarusian wound up holding her serve to win that game on her way to a surprising 6-5 lead in the stanza. She also saved a match point while trailing 4-5.

Williams, however, held her lethal serve to force a tiebreak, which she won when Azarenka failed on the American's fifth match point of the day, as the Belarusian misfired wide on one final forehand.

The 13-time Grand Slam champion Williams popped 12 aces and had her big serve broken only once by Azarenka. The powerful American ended the day with 21 more winners (39-18) than her talented counterpart.

The 2011 Wimbledon semifinalist Azarenka has never reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, the only major where she's failed to reach the round of eight.

Williams is now riding a 15-match winning streak, which includes a pair of titles. She returned to WTA action in June after being sidelined for 11 months because of a series of health issues.

In addition to her three titles in New York, Williams is also a former runner- up at the year's final major event.

In the fourth round, Williams will meet Ana Ivanovic. The 16th-seeded Serbian, a former world No. 1 and French Open winner, easily defeated American Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-4. Ivanovic has never advanced beyond the fourth round in Flushing.

The 2009 U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki waltzed past 103rd-ranked California native Vania King in 6-2, 6-4 fashion at Ashe Stadium. The steady Dane advanced in 1 hour, 36 minutes.

The 22-year-old King is now 0-16 lifetime against top-10 women.

The 21-year-old Wozniacki, still seeking her first major championship, leads the WTA with six titles already this year, including a fourth straight New Haven championship last week.

"I won. I think that's the most positive," Wozniacki said. "It's great to be through. You know, I was fighting a lot out there, getting quite a lot of balls back."

King captured doubles titles at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon last year, but has never advanced beyond the third round in singles at a Grand Slam tournament.

Meanwhile, 2011 French Open runner-up and 2010 Roland Garros titlist Francesca Schiavone staved off a match point before fighting back to beat game South African Chanelle Scheepers 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Scheepers, who is now 0-8 lifetime against top-10 players, was up a set and leading 5-4 in the second when the seventh-seeded Schiavone saved a match point to extend the bout.

Up next for Schiavone will be 17th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

Tenth-seeded rising German Andrea Petkovic reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open for a second straight year by handling 18th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-0. The 2011 Aussie and French Open quarterfinalist Petkovic will meet Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in her next match.

Suarez Navarro handled fellow unseeded Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-0, 6-4.

A mild upset came when the promising Pavlyuchenkova drove out former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. The 11th-seeded Jankovic, who has battled injuries in recent weeks, was the 2008 U.S. Open runner-up to Williams.

Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 15th seed, defeated Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-2. Kuznetsova is a two-time major champion, including a U.S. Open title back in 2004, and was also a runner-up in New York in 2007. 


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