New York – Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams advanced at the US Open on Thursday as both notched overwhelming wins to power into the third round.
Djokovic, bidding to play a fifth consecutive final at Flushing Meadows a week from Monday, hammered Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 to win a sixth match in seven meetings against the Frenchman.
“I have nothing to complain about, I wanted to get my job done as quick as possible,” said Djokovic, “I don't need to play long matches to get into the groove. I'm hitting the ball very well.”
“I stayed mentally tough and did not allow myself to get frustrated because of the wind and conditions that were very tough for both of us,” he added.
Williams reinforced her bid for a third straight women's title as the five-time champion crushed fellow American Vania King 6-1, 6-0.
The 32-year-old world number one is aiming to become the first woman to win three US Open trophies in a row since Justine Henin accomplished the feat from 2005-07.
Williams, who lost just five points on serve in her opening victory, won her 40th match of the season against six defeats.
She prowled the court in a pink leopard print outfit, advancing with 25 winners and breaking six times in the 56-minute rout.
“It's so hard to play in the wind but I am happy to get through a solid match with the conditions today,” said Williams. “It wasn't easy, but you have to be able to adjust. I had fun out here, I enjoy playing out on Arthur Ashe court.”
Djokovic finished off Mathieu in less than 90 minutes, winning with 13 aces and putting to rest his poor form in the August run-up to the last grand slam of the season.
Djokovic will play next against American Sam Querrey, a winner over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic defeated German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, sending down 26 aces in more than three hours to secure a 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) win. Eighth seed Andy Murray beat another German as he put out Mattias Bachinger 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
French ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Two more retirements were added to a growing list.
Japanese 10th seed Kei Nishikori advanced to the third round as Spain's Pablo Andujar quit, trailing 6-4, 6-1. German Philipp Kohlschreiber moved on after Frenchman Michael Llodra packed it in after losing the first set 6-2.
In women's play, third seed Petra Kvitova put out Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 6-2, and Czech Karolina Pliskova sprang a surprise on eighth seed Ana Ivanovic, eliminating the Serb 7-5, 6-4 after a promising summer build-up for former number one Ivanovic.
“It was very tough out there for me today. I really struggled to find my rhythm and made way too many unforced errors,” said Ivanovic, who lost to Williams in the finals at Cincinnati earlier this month.
“It's very disappointing. It's never easy to finish this early. I was really hoping I could make a good run and push,” she said. “I'm definitely going to assess what went wrong and what I can work on.”
Italian 11th seed Flavia Pennetta beat American Shelby Rogers 6-4, 6-3, while former number one Victoria Azarenka overcame a 0-3deficit in the first set to defeat Christina McHale of the US 6-3, 6-2. – Sapa-dpa