US Open PHOTOS: Azarenka's love affair with New York continues
Victoria Azarenka's love affair with New York's hardcourts is starting to get serious.
The Belarusian is so smitten with Flushing Meadows that she now thinks of them as an old lover.
"I would say it's my husband," she said on Thursday after her 6-3, 6-1 win over Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
"Because we have been together for a long time (we) got really comfortable with each other. Yeah, it's my husband."
Azarenka's affection for hardcourts, the sport's most physically demanding surface, appears mutual.
Her greatest successes have all come on hardcourts. She has won each of the past two Australian Opens and reached the final of the US Open last year.
Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus
Photographs: Adam Hunger/Reuters
'I'm a hardcourt lover'
"Yeah, (I'm a) hardcourt lover," she joked.
Azarenka's popstar boyfriend Redfoo need not worry. He is always in her mid when she goes to play, providing the soundtrack she listens to on her headphones when she walks on court.
Azarenka had few real problems in her second round match with Wozniak.
The blustery winds at the Louis Armstrong Stadium made serving difficult and she was broken three times but the world number two was always in control, cruising to victory in a little over an hour.
"It was a good match. It was very good and solid beginning of the first set, and a good second set," she said.
"Towards the end I felt like I let her play a little bit and she really went for her shots, so I had to adjust a little bit better."
Azarenka expects a tougher match from her next opponent in the third round, Alize Cornet of France, after the 26th seed beat Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-2.
"Alize is a great player with a lot of experience. She's been top 20 before," Azarenka said.
"She's a young player. She's the same age, highly motivated. Yeah, it's going to be a great match."
Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a forehand
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images
Wozniacki roars into third round
Former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki raced to a 6-1, 6-2 win over South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers to reach the third round of the US Open on Thursday.
The sixth-seeded Dane, made to work hard for her first-round victory over Chinese qualifier Duan Yingying, dropped her first service game on Arthur Ashe Stadium court but never looked back in the 67-minute romp.
"I'm really pleased with the way I was moving today and moving from defence to offense," Wozniacki said on-court.
Wozniacki will next play Italy's Camila Giorgi, a 6-4, 7-6 (8) winner over Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan.
Image: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a forehand
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Roger Federer and Serena Williams, stress-free and loving the limelight, strolled into the third round of the US Open on Thursday as the pressure began to mount at the season's last Grand Glam.
For Federer, it was business as usual at Flushing Meadows.
Federer, unflappable even as he struggles to add to his record collection of 17 Grand Slam singles titles, hardly raised a sweat as he brushed aside Argentina's Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.
"For me it was pretty straightforward, to be honest," Federer said. "It's one of those matches I expect myself to win if possible in straight sets and gain confidence in the process.
"All those things happened, so, yeah, I'm pleased about it."
Image: Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot
Photographs: Dan Istitene/Getty Images
Nadal crushes Brazilian Silva
Rafael Nadal remains undefeated on hardcourts this year by crushing Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 6-2, 6-1, 6-0 to storm into the third round.
The second-seeded Spaniard improved his hardcourt mark to 17-0, a run that has brought him tournament titles at Indian Wells, Montreal and Cincinnati among his nine trophies in 2013.
Nadal faced only one break point in the 92-minute rout on Arthur Ashe Stadium's centre court, ripping 30 winners to just nine.
World No 2 Nadal, who missed the 2012 US Open because of a knee injury, will next play Ivan Dodig of Croatia, a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 winner against Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
Image: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates victory
Photographs: Mike Stobe/Getty Images