Serena Williams avenged her Australian Open upset to Ekaterina Makarova Saturday with a 6-4, 6-0 win on Arthur Ashe. Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska also won.
By Chris Oddo
(September 1, 2012)--Serena Williams found herself in a tough scrap with a familiar nemesis this afternoon on Arthur Ashe on Saturday, but this time the three-time US Open and fourteen-time Grand Slam champion was not going to let Ekaterina Makarova get the best of her.
Williams broke open a tight contest, winning the final eight games of a 6-4, 6-0 decision to avenge her loss to Makarova in the fourth round of this year's Australian Open and move into the fourth round.
The victory also ties her sister Venus with 61 career US Open wins.
“At four-all I started playing a little better, and being a little more consistent,” said Williams. “I played such a good opponent, she beat me before in Australia just this year, so I knew going into today I needed to play better.”
Williams didn't have the best serving day of her career, with 8 aces and a 53 percent first-serve percentage, but she played well enough to avoid having to face a break point.
Williams won Wimbledon and two Olympic gold medals this summer, but she's still managed to stay excited about reclaiming the US Open title for the first time since 2009.
“I love it. I'm here at the US Open. This is my home crowd, so it's hard not to be so excited to play here, to be an American and play in New York,” she said.
Is she close to retiring? No need to worry.
“I can't leave you guys,” she told the crowd. “I love this sport way too much. And now that Andy and Kim are done I feel like I need to stay out there for the tennis. I'm not going anywhere.”
Williams will face Andrea Hlavackova in the fourth round.
Williams might get the chance to avenge her Sister Venus' second-round loss to German Angelique Kerber, as the 6th-seed sparkled in a 6-1, 6-2 victory today against Olga Govortsova, and looks to be determined to matching her breakout US Open semifinal performance of 2011.
Kerber blitzed Govortsova in a one-sided first set, cracking eight winners and converting on three of four break points opportunities.
In the second set, Kerber pulled away from 2-2, winning the final four games to close out the match in 56 minutes.
Since reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal in 2011 in New York, the German has backed that performance up with a quarterfinal at Roland Garros and a semifinal at Wimbledon.
Kerber got her tour-leading 56th win today, and notched her sixth decision in seven career matches against Govortsova.
Radwanska Stays in the Hunt
Agnieszka Radwanska outlasted fellow tour veteran and similarly styled Jelena Jankovic on Saturday in two hard-fought sets 6-3, 7-5.
In a match that featured 10 breaks of serve, it was the accuracy and consistency of Radwanska that allowed her to gain the edge of the former US Open finalist.
Radwanska hit 15 errors to Jankovic's 37, and Jankovic hit 9 forehand and 6 backhand errors in the final set, against only two of each from Radwanska.
“Well, you know, she was No. 1 and she was in top 4 a long time. You always have couple bad tournaments or worse tournaments,” Radwanska said. “You know, this is tennis, so you can't really play all the time amazing. So I think now I think she's coming back. She really was playing good today. I think if she's going to play like that, she will be back soon.”
Radwanska, a Wimbledon finalist this year, will fave 20th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci in the round of 16. Vinci got past 13th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova this afternoon. After 30 unsuccessful attempts to reach the fourth-round of a Grand Slam, the 29-year-old Italian has now reached the last 16 in two consecutive Slams dating back to Wimbledon.
Radwanska reached the fourth-round of the US Open in 2007 and 2008, but since then she had not been past the second round until this year.
In other third-round action on Saturday, Andrea Hlavackova reached the fourth round in her first US open main draw appearance (she failed to qualify five times) with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over 14th-seeded Maria Kirilenko...Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria got past Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3 to reach the round of 16 in New York for the first time. 10th-seeded Italian blazed past Olga Puchkova of Russia, winning nearly twice as many points as her opponent in the 6-1, 6-1 victory. Errani will attempt to reach her third Grand Slam quarterfinal of 2012 when she meets Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.
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