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Rediff.com  » Sports » US Open: Federer, Djokovic, Azarenka cruise; Stosur stunned

US Open: Federer, Djokovic, Azarenka cruise; Stosur stunned

Last updated on: August 28, 2013 10:13 IST

US Open: Federer, Djokovic cruise; Stosur stunned

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Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic blasted their way into the second round of the US Open on Tuesday with ruthless efficiency, crushing their hapless opponents in straight sets on an action-packed second day at Flushing Meadows.

-PHOTOS: The sexiest female tennis players at the US Open

Defying the sceptics who had dismissed his chances of winning a sixth title in the Big Apple, Federer was in vintage form as he brushed past Slovenia's Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 in a delayed afternoon match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.


Image: Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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'I'm in a good spot right now'

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The 32-year-old Federer won the last of his five US Open titles in 2008 but the Swiss master said he had lost none of his love of the game, ripping 35 winners in his win over Zemlja.

"I'm in a good spot right now. I want to enjoy it as long as it lasts," Federer said after the match was moved to Tuesday after being washed out on Monday evening.

Djokovic then lit up Tuesday's night session with a dazzling combination of power and precision to defeat Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

The world No 1 hardly broke sweat on a balmy New York night as he took the first step toward a possible fourth straight appearance in the final.


Image: Roger Federer (right) of Switzerland shakes hands at the net with Grega Zemlja of Slovenia
Photographs: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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Azarenka takes double bagel win

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Twelve months after her agonising defeat in the US Open final, Victoria Azarenka made a triumphant return to Flushing Meadows.

In her first match back on the Arthur Ashe Stadium since her gut-wrenching loss to Serena Williams, Azarenka chalked up a rare double-bagel win, thrashing Germany's Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-0, 6-0 in just over an hour.

"I'm really happy to be back on this court, the last time I was here it was very emotional," she said.

"To come back and compete at one of the most famous arenas in the world, it's great ... I love New York."

The world No 2 arrived in the Big Apple brimming with confidence after beating Williams in the final of the Cincinnati Open and was untroubled against Pfizenmaier, ranked 99th.

She hit 14 winners and made just 10 unforced errors but had to fend off three break points on her own serve.


Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a backhand
Photographs: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

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'It was a lot closer than the score'

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"It was a lot closer than the score," Azarenka said. "I thought I played really well in the important moments and raised my game when I needed to."

Azarenka was just two points away from beating Williams in last year's championship match when the American drew on her all her experience to win a three-set thriller.

It was a painful loss for the fiercely competitive Belarusian but she showed she was quick learner, overcoming her disappointment and rebounding to win her second Australian Open title in January.


Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus tosses the ball in the air to serve
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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'I'm not going to be a sore loser'

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A tournament previously bereft of upsets also saw its first major casualty when Australia's Sam Stosur, the champion just two years ago, was sent packing by American teenager Victoria Duval 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

With chants of "U-S-A!" ringing out on Louis Armstrong Stadium, Stosur lost her way after winning the opening set, committing 56 unforced errors in her defeat to the 17-year-old.

"I'm not going to be a sore loser and say she didn't do anything," said Stosur. "But, you know, I think I certainly helped her out there today, that's for sure."


Image: Victoria Duval of the US celebrates
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters

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Sara Errani showed why she is looming as a real contender

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Former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki survived a tough examination to join Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova and Ana Ivanovic in the second round.

And Italy's Sara Errani, the fourth seed, showed why she is looming as a real contender with a rare double-bagel 6-0, 6-0 win over Australia's Olivia Rogowska.

Errani showed no mercy against her 151st-ranked opponent, who got into the draw as a lucky loser replacement following the withdrawal of Japan's Ayumi Morita, and romped to victory in 51 minutes.


Image: Sara Errani of Italy serves
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters

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Grieving Ivanovic advances

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Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, also had to put in some overtime before winning her clash with Japan's Misaki Doi 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 while a grieving Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open winner, cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 win over Georgia's Anna Tatishvili.

Ivanovic arrived in New York with a heavy heart after learning about the drowning death of a childhood friend back in her native Serbia.

"It's been very sad news," Ivanovic said. "It was very hard because it was almost like my relative. We grew up, and I knew him since we were kids. It's very, very sad."


Image: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia serves
Photographs: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters

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'Day of survival'

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With her boyfriend, golfer Rory McIlroy, watching from the stands, Wozniacki had to dig deep to beat Chinese qualifier Duan Yingying 6-2, 7-5.

Wozniacki raced through the opening set in just 35 minutes then reeled off five games in a row to seal the win after falling behind 5-2.

"It's not about being pretty," Wozniacki said. "It's about just getting the job done. I did that, so I'm happy about that."

Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz was booed for serving underhand during a petulant display in his 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 loss to Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez, who is ranked 247th in the world.

Hampered by a painful back injury he suffered training three days ago, the Polish world number 14 was in a foul mood, arguing with the chair umpire and throwing his water bottle on the court.

"I was in really good shape before this happened," he growled. "That's why I'm fricking disappointed."


Image: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark serves
Photographs: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

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