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.