Federer and Serena advance

Roger Federer sweeps to the US Open third round as a potential showdown with title favourite Rafael Nadal looms.

    Federer and Serena advance
    Federer faces a potential quarter-final match-up against old rival Nadal [AFP]

    Five-time winner Roger Federer and defending champion Serena Williams breezed into the US Open third round on Thursday.

    Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who swept the New York hardcourt crowns from 2004-2008, dispatched Argentina's 48th-ranked Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 in 95 minutes, firing six aces and 37 winners.

    Federer, at his lowest US Open seed since 2002 at seventh, advanced to a matchup with either US 26th seed Sam Querrey or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

    Federer lost for the first time in 50 appearances in a Grand Slam second-round match last month at Wimbledon, falling to 116th-rated Sergiy Stakhovsky in his earliest Slam exit since the 2003 French Open.

    "Just keep on winning. I don't care how," Federer said of his goals.

    "Right now it's about winning for me, trying to gain confidence and enjoy myself. I hope I can progress. We'll see how it goes."

    Potential showdown

    Federer and Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal could meet for the first time at the US Open in this year's quarter-finals.

    "The biggest mistake I can do is focus on Rafa right now," Federer said.

    "Clearly I would love a match with Rafa."

    Nadal, unbeaten on the hardcourts this year and a top favourite to claim the crown, will make his bid for a place in the third round later against Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva.

    Spanish fourth seed David Ferrar and French eighth seed Richard Gasquet kept rolling toward a potential quarter-final matchup of their own.

    Ferrer dispatched compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2 while Gasquet also ousted a countryman, dumping Stephane Robert 6-3, 7-5, 7-5.

    World number one Williams, who would become the oldest US Open women's champion at 31 if she repeats, advanced her quest for a 17th Grand Slam title and fifth US Open crown by downing 77th-ranked Galina Voskoboeva 6-3, 6-0.

    Williams won the last eight games, breaking to capture each set, and advanced in 69 minutes.

    "Galina played very well in the first set. You can see how much she has improved," Williams said. "But I played pretty well myself."

    Yaroslava Shvedova, like Voskoboeva a Russian-born Kazakh player, defeated Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-2, 6-3 to become the next Williams foe.

    SOURCE: AFP


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