Serena Williams blitzes foe to reach quarterfinals

Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 5:59 PM
Last updated 10:21 PM
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Serena Williams had 31 winners and seven unforced errors in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Andrea Hlavackova.   KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Serena Williams had 31 winners and seven unforced errors in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Andrea Hlavackova.

NEW YORK — Didn’t take long for Serena Williams to show her fourth-round opponent at the U.S. Open where things were headed.

“The first point of the whole match,” 82nd-ranked Andrea Hlavackova explained, “when I served, and she returned, like, a 100 mph forehand return, I was like, ‘OK, I know who I’m playing. You don’t have to prove it to me. I know.’”

Monday’s match was less than 15 seconds old. It might as well have been over.

Dominant from the moment she ripped that return of an 88 mph second serve, forcing Hlavackova into an out-of-control backhand that sailed well long, to the moment she powered a 116 mph service winner on the last point, Williams extended her 2½-month stretch of excellence with a 6-0, 6-0 victory to get to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.

Those two big zeros pretty much tell the story; it’s the fifth time in her career Williams won with what’s commonly called a “double bagel.”

On the men’s side, Andy Murray muted 15th-seeded Milos Ranoic’s big serve and won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 Monday night to reach an eighth consecutive major quarterfinal.

No. 3 Murray will play No. 12 Marin Cilic next.

Next for the fourth-seeded Williams, who won the U.S. Open in 1999, 2002 and 2008, is a match against former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time since winning the 2008 French Open by defeating 55th-ranked Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-4.

Williams lost in the third round of doubles with older sister Venus on Monday night.

In the semifinals, the Williams-Ivanovic winner will meet either No. 10 Sara Errani or No. 20 Roberta Vinci, doubles partners who both eliminated higher-seeded women Monday and now face the uncomfortable prospect of trying to beat a best buddy.

Errani, the runner-up to Maria Sharapova at the French Open, got past No. 6 Angelique Kerber of Germany 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Reaching her first singles quarterfinal in 32 career Grand Slam tournaments, Vinci stunned No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-4.

NEW YORK — Mardy Fish pulled out of the U.S. Open hours before his fourth-round match against Roger Federer on Monday, saying it was for “precautionary measures” on doctor’s advice.

The 30-year-old American, who was seeded 23rd at Flushing Meadows, missed about 2½ months this season because of an accelerated heartbeat and had a medical procedure in May.

“We are not 100 percent sure what the issue is and if it is related to his previous issues,” Fish’s agent, John Tobias, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “Mardy is fine and will return home to L.A. tomorrow. This was strictly precautionary and I anticipate that Mardy will play in Asia this fall.”

Fish’s third-round victory over Gilles Simon at the U.S. Open went five sets, lasting more than 3 hours and ending after 1 a.m. Sunday. Afterward, Fish did not attend a news conference; the tournament said he was getting medical treatment, but didn’t elaborate.

In a statement released by the U.S. Tennis Association on Monday, Fish said he “ was reluctant to” withdraw from the year’s last Grand Slam tournament but was “following medical advisement.”

– Associated Press

He added that he looks forward “to resuming my tournament schedule in the fall.”

– Associated Press

After losing a match at Key Biscayne, Fla., on March 29, Fish went to be checked by doctors because his heart started racing uncontrollably that night. He pulled out of the U.S. Davis Cup team’s quarterfinal against France the following week.

In May, doctors induced extreme palpitations to try to pinpoint the problem in Fish’s heart. He returned to the tour at Wimbledon in June.

The walkover allowed the top-seeded Federer to reach his 34th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, extending his own record.

“I am really sorry for Mardy. I just want to wish him a speedy recovery,” Federer said in a statement issued by the tournament. “We all want to see him back on tour soon.”

Federer, who has won five of his record 17 Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Open, can reach the semifinals by getting past No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who eliminated No. 11 Nicolas Almagro of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1.

Berdych stunned Federer in the 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinals on the way to reaching the final there.

“It will be a tough match against Tomas. We have played many times in the past and he has always been a tough opponent,” said Federer, who has won 11 of 15 career head-to-head matchups. “I will have to continue to serve well and dictate the points.”

___

AP Sports Writer Rachel Cohen contributed to this report.

FISH WITHDRAWS FROM TOURNAMENT


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