NEW YORK — Serena Williams does not enjoy viewing videos of her losses. Not one bit.
She used to engage in that sort of film work, Williams said, but “it was so painful; it was like stabbing myself.”
So even though Williams knew her third-round opponent at the U.S. Open would be the same woman she lost to at the Australian Open, preparing by studying a replay of that January defeat simply was out of the question.
Did not seem to matter at all.
After splitting Saturday’s first eight games against 42nd-ranked Ekaterina Makarova, the fourth-seeded Williams got into high gear and breezed to a 6-4, 6-0 victory, reeling off the last eight games in a row.
“Definitely was motivated. Knowing that I lost; could definitely happen again. Did not want that to happen,” said Williams, who hit 13 aces.
“I really hate watching matches that I lose, unless I’m punishing myself,” added the 14-time Grand Slam champion. “I didn’t punish myself.”
She hasn’t been losing much lately.
Since the only first-round Grand Slam exit of her career, against 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano at the French Open on May 29, Williams is 22-1 in singles, including the title at Wimbledon and gold medal at the London Olympics.
The woman Williams beat in the Wimbledon final, second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, dealt with the 90-degree heat and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic with equal aplomb during a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
Olympic champion Andy Murray, still seeking his first Grand Slam title after four losses in finals, eeked out a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4) victory over No. 30 Feliciano Lopez, who led in each of the three tiebreakers before faltering.
The man he beat for the gold at the Summer Games, and lost to in the Wimbledon title match, Roger Federer, is also Murray’s potential semifinal opponent in New York. Federer, as is often the case, barely looked as if he broke a sweat Saturday while dismissing No. 25 Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Five of Federer’s record 17 Grand Slam titles came at Flushing Meadows,.