Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Samantha Stosur advanced in straight sets on Friday at the US Open while British teen Laura Robson sent Li Na home after sending Kim Clijsters into retirement.
Serbian second seed Djokovic overwhelmed Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, never facing a break point and winning 90 per cent of his first-serve points to reach the last 32 in 99 minutes on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.
“It was very windy so it was very important to stay focused, but I played great,” Djokovic said.
“Even if the scoreline doesn’t indicate it, it was a tough match.”
Next for Djokovic will be either France’s Julien Benneteau or Russian-born US teen Dennis Novikov, the lowest-ranked player ever in the second round of a Grand Slam event at 1,098th.
“It’s important to get a day’s rest and work on some things in my game and get ready for the next challenge,” Djokovic said.
British teen Laura Robson ousted Chinese ninth seed and 2011 French Open winner Li 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 for her first career triumph over a top-10 foe, booking a fourth-round showdown against Australian seventh seed Stosur.
“That’s going to be really tough,” Robson said. “I’m going to work hard and just do the best I can.”
Robson, an 18-year-old left-hander who was born in Australia but moved to Britain at age six, ended the career of three-time US Open champion Clijsters with a second-round triumph.
Robson, the youngest player in the world top 100 at 89th, became the first British woman in the fourth round of a Grand Slam since Sam Smith at Wimbledon in 1998 and the first in the Open’s last 16 since Jo Durie in 1991.
Li did not reach the last eight at any Grand Slam tournament for the first season since 2008.
Stosur, who has not won a title since lifting the US Open trophy last year, took a 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 victory over US 31st seed Varvara Lepchenko and looked forward to the challenge Robson presents.
|Robson’s fairy tale run in New York continued with victory over 2011 French Open winner Li Na [Reuters]|
“She’s already had two very good wins and she’s full of confidence,” Stosur said. “I’m going have to be ready to play my best game if I’m going to beat her.
“It can be a very tricky match. She’s got nothing to lose and she has had two of the biggest wins of her career.”
After fighting to 5-5 in the tie-breaker, Lepchenko sent a lob and a backhand wide to surrender the opening set after 59 minutes. Stosur broke in the third and fifth games of the second set and held to finish in 88 minutes.
“As the match went on I got a little more comfortable and relaxed a little bit more,” Stosur said. “In the first set I felt like I served really well.
“That’s how I was able to get into those games in the second set.”
Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer moved into the third round by ousting Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (14/12).
Ferrer, a 2007 US Open semi-finalist in his best Grand Slam run, battled to his sixth match point before Sijsling netted a forehand to finally fall.
“He played very well in the third set,” Ferrer said. “I was pleased to get it done.”
Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova ousted Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-4 to reach a round-of-16 match against her third consecutive French foe, 11th seed Marion Bartoli, who downed compatriot Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4.