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PHOTOS: Sharapova continues to blaze trail

Last updated on: September 1, 2012 16:55 IST

Sharapova continues to blaze trail

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Maria Sharapova continued her imperious march through the draw at the U.S. Open as she crushed American college player Mallory Burdette 6-1, 6-1 on Friday.

The French Open champion needed just 58 minutes to send world number 252 Burdette packing.

"I expected her to play a big, solid match," said Sharapova, the 2006 U.S. Open champion. "She came out, she has pretty huge groundstrokes, and she likes to go for it.

"She's certainly somebody who could be dangerous if you give her the time to do what she likes to do."

Burdette, a 21-year-old wild card entry into the tournament, did not have time to do much of anything as she was swept off the court in 58 minutes.

Sharapova, who has lost just seven games in her first three matches, now plays Russian compatriot Nadia Petrova, a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Czech Lucie Safarova.



Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates defeating Mallory Burdette of the United States in their women's singles third round match on Day Five of the US Open
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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From prodigy to giant-killer, Robson comes of age

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When Laura Robson won the Wimbledon junior title as a 14-year-old in 2008, former players were falling over themselves to tip her for the top.

Four years later and the British left-hander with the big forehand and a quick wit is starting to deliver.

Already the youngest player in the women's top 100, the 18-year-old followed her shock win over three-times champion Kim Clijsters at the U.S. Open this week by stunning former French Open champion Li Na of China in the third round on Friday.

It was a performance full of power and maturity for such a young player, making her the first British woman to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows since 1998.

Her world ranking of 89 is set to rise to at least 75 and if she beats defending champion Samantha Stosur in the fourth round on Sunday, she would climb to the verge of the world's top 50.

"I think the level has always been there," a delighted but refreshingly level-headed Robson said. "In the last few matches I think it's noticeable that instead of just trying to hit a winner off a tough shot like I have done in the past, I'm just trying to make a percentage shot back.

"That makes all the difference really."

Robson won a silver medal at the London Olympics in mixed doubles with Andy Murray and said that experience, as well as pushing Maria Sharapova hard in the singles, helped boost her confidence.   


Image: Laura Robson of Great Britain looks on after defeating Na Li of China during their women's singles third round match on Day Five of the US Open
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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Impressive Djokovic rolls into third round

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Defending champion Novak Djokovic marched into the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over world number 112 Rogerio Dutra Silva.

The Serb was a class above the 28-year-old Brazilian as he stormed to victory in one hour, 39 minutes.

Second seed Djokovic dropped just two games in his opening-round win and Dutra Silva managed only three more as the Serb ripped his game apart.

Djokovic made just 14 unforced errors as he cruised through to a meeting with France's Julien Benneteau or American wildcard Dennis Novikov.



Image: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil in their men's singles second round match
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Defending champ Stosur comes through first real test

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Australia's Samantha Stosur came through the first real test of her title defence as she beat American Varvara Lepchenko 7-6, 6-2 to reach the fourth round on Friday.

The first set was a dogfight but the seventh seed took the tiebreak and then lifted her game to romp through the second set.

Stosur was broken in the opening game of the match, setting the tone for a gruelling first set, which lasted 59 minutes.

But the Australian snatched it 7-5 to move ahead and with the pressure off, she ran through the second to reach the last 16.



Image: Samantha Stosur of Australia reacts after a shot against Varvara Lepchenko of the United States during their women's singles third round match
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Emotional Roddick vows to 'stick around'

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An emotional Andy Roddick postponed his farewell speech and stayed alive in the U.S. Open by routing Bernard Tomic in the second round at Flushing Meadows on Friday night.

Roddick needed only one hour and 27 minutes to defeat Tomic 6-3, 6-4, 6-0, just one day after the 30-year-old announced he would retire at the end of the tournament.

Winding back the clock to play with the power and aggression that made him U.S. Open champion and world number one in 2003, Roddick will play Italy's Fabio Fognini in round three for a place in the last 16.

"I'm going to try and stick around a little longer," Roddick told the packed crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Roddick said he became emotional shortly before the match when he saw a tribute to his career being shown on television in the locker room.

"I had no idea what was going to happen out there, honestly, even before the match," Roddick said. "I've played a lot of matches and that was a different kind of nerves than I've had before.

"That was surprising for me. I felt weird before the match. Twenty minutes before it was kind of getting the best of me. I had to get my stuff together before I walked out there.

"I played well and I don't know why."

Roddick said the entire day was an emotional rollercoaster as he contemplated the possibility it would be the last match of his career.

"I've been pretty good about everything but the moment hit me a little bit," he said. "You start realising the finality of the situation. You think different things.

"I walk out for warm-up, and 'Is this going to be the last warmup?' It works along those lines. It got to me a little bit."

Roddick said his coach, Larry Stefanki, was responsible for calming his nerves.

"Larry had to come over and kind of tell me to knock it off," Roddick said.


Image: Andy Roddick of the United States celebrates a point during his men's singles second round match against Bernard Tomic of Australia on Day Five of the 2012 US Open
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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Hewitt rages on against the dying light

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Socks filled with blood and body scarred by countless operations, Lleyton Hewitt simply refuses to quit.

The Australian is a contemporary of Andy Roddick but a day after the American announced his impending retirement, Hewitt was still raging against dying of the light on Friday.

The 31-year-old scratched and clawed his way to a 3-6, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 win over Gilles Muller in four hours and 35 minutes of sporting warfare at the U.S. Open.

Hewitt, the former world number one and champion at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, has undergone major hip and toe surgery in recent years.

His ranking has plummeted to 125 but he said he would play as long as possible because he still revelled in the heat of battle.

Hewitt played on Court 11 at Flushing Meadows, far removed from the headiness of Arthur Ashe Stadium, where he beat Pete Sampras to win the 2001 U.S. Open.

He trailed Muller by two sets to one but is no stranger to the five-setter and survived another battle of the fittest and mentally toughest.


Image: Lleyton Hewitt of Australia celebrates a point against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in their men's singles second round match
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Relentless Ferrer cruises into third round

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Fourth seed David Ferrer cruised into the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 victory over Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling.

The 30-year-old Spaniard sped through the first two sets and though he was tested hard in the third, he was always in control and clinched a convincing victory in two hours, seven minutes.

Ferrer, who reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows a year ago, ran Sijsling ragged from the baseline as he raced to a two-sets lead in little over an hour.

World number 78 Sijsling raised his game in the third set and saved five match points but Ferrer won the tiebreak 14-12 to set up a match with former champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia or Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.


Image: David Ferrer of Spain returns a shot against Igor Sijsling of Netherlands during their men's singles second round match
Photographs: Elsa/Getty Images

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