Belfast Telegraph

US Open: Serena Williams cruises into quarter-finals

By Paul Newman

Serena Williams breezed into the quarter-finals of the US Open with a comfortable straight-sets dismissal of Serbia's Ana Ivanovic.

The 28th-seeded American is chasing her fourth title at Flushing Meadows and remained on course with a powerful 6-3 6-4 win over the former world number one.

Ivanovic, the 16th seed, struggled on her serve throughout the contest at a blustery Arthur Ashe Stadium, successful with just 51% of her first serves and winning just 29% of points on her second.

Twenty-nine unforced errors and eight double faults by the Serbian also made the task a little easier for Williams, who will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 17th seed from Russia, in the last eight.

Williams had not dropped a set on her run to the last 16 and hardly looked in danger of doing so as she raced into an early advantage, breaking her opponent's first service game on her way to a 3-0 lead.

Ivanovic began to settle a little, however, and after winning her second service game the 2008 French Open champion ramped up the pressure, breaking back in the fifth to trail 2-3.

But errors began to litter Ivanovic's game once again, and another break at 3-4 paved the way for Williams to serve to love in the next and wrap up the set in just 33 minutes.

A lone break of the Ivanovic serve proved the difference in the second set, and although the 23-year-old improved as the match wore on, the errors remained, and Williams wrapped up victory after one hour and 17 minutes as the Serbian fired a forehand long on match point.

Pavlyuchenkova reached her second grand slam quarter-final of the season with a hard-fought 5-7 6-3 6-4 victory over seventh seed Francesca Schiavone.

The 20-year-old Russian made the last eight at the French Open and she followed up her victory over Jelena Jankovic in the third round here by dumping out last year's Roland Garros champion.

It was a very up-and-down match featuring 16 breaks of serve, which was perhaps not surprising given Pavlyuchenkova hit 11 double faults and Schiavone 10.

The crucial double came from the Italian when she was serving to stay in the match. Having saved two match points, she gave the advantage back to her opponent and Pavlyuchenkova did not miss a third opportunity, clinching victory with a big forehand.

The 17th seed has never beaten title favourite Serena Williams, her quarter-final opponent.

Pavlyuchenkova is looking to emulate Lindsay Davenport as the only woman to win both the junior and senior US Open titles having lifted the girls' trophy in 2006.

Meanwhile, Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic reached his first grand slam quarter-final with a 7-5 6-7 (3/7) 7-5 6-2 victory over former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero at the US Open.

The Spaniard has rolled back the years at this tournament after struggling with injury recently but he did not take advantage of an opening towards the end of the third set and was made to pay by 20th seed Tipsarevic.

The 27-year-old, who is likely to play top seed and compatriot Novak Djokovic next, is enjoying the best season of his career and, after twice falling in the fourth round at Wimbledon, has finally made the last eight.

Belfast Telegraph

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