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Djokovic leads heavyweight procession at US Open

Posted By: Pti
Novak Djokovic
New York, Sep 2: Novak Djokovic raced into the US Open last 32 with a ruthless demolition of Argentine Carlos Berlocq, as fellow heavyweights Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki also cruised.

World number one, and top seed, Djokovic, the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, destroyed Berlocq 6-0 6-0 6-2 on Thursday, to take his 2011 record to 59 wins against just two losses.

Djokovic, who dropped only one game in his first round match, was on his way to clinching a whitewash at 6-0 6-0 2-0 before world number 78 Berlocq broke for the first time in the third game of the third set.

"Listen, I felt incredible pressure, honestly. It felt like it was 5-all really. It was really entertaining. I played fantastic tennis," said Djokovic, who next tackles Russia's Nikolay Davydenko.

"I was trying to be perfect but all credit to Carlos for hanging in and fighting." Federer and Serena Williams, with 29 Grand Slam titles between them, as well as top seed Wozniacki, who is still searching for her first major, were just as untroubled as the Serb.

Five-time US Open champion Federer eased past Israel's world number 93 Dudi Sela 6-3 6-2 6-2 for his 225th win at a major -- just eight behind Jimmy Connors' all-time mark of 233.

The third seed next faces Croatian 27th seed Marin Cilic who put out 18-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic, the youngest player in the draw, for the loss of just three games.

"Not much trouble on my serve, and from the baseline I also thought I had the upper hand. When it's like that, obviously it's tough for the opponent, but I just think I was superior today," said Federer.

Federer unleashed 31 winners to Sela's 10 in his 77-minute victory, allowing his opponent just eight points on serve.

Triple women's champion Serena Williams disposed of Dutch qualifier Michaella Krajicek 6-0 6-1. Williams has lost just three games in her two matches and now tackles Belarusian fourth seed Victoria Azarenka who defeated Argentina's Gisela Dulko 6-4 6-3.

Williams boasts a 5-1 career record over Azarenka, including all four of their Grand Slam meetings.

The American, who is seeded 28 after spending most of the last year fighting injury as well as life-threatening blood clots on her lungs, saw off Krajicek with a 10th ace, having unleashed 25 winners.

Williams insisted that she had not been distracted by seeing sister Venus withdraw from the tournament 24 hours earlier after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder.

"It really wasn't that difficult, to be honest. She wants me to do the best; she wouldn't want me to suffer. So now, if anything, it should motivate me more," said Williams.

Wozniacki brushed aside Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus 6-2 6-0 and next tackles Vania King of the United States.

Meanwhile, the number of walkovers and injury-enforced retirements at the tournament climbed to 13. Czech 23rd seed Radek Stepanek called it quits in the third set against Juan Monaco of Argentina with a shoulder injury.


Story first published: Friday, September 2, 2011, 10:00 [IST]
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