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Djokovic rolls on as Federer, Serena breeze

Agence France-Presse . New York | Published: 00:00, Sep 01,2019

 
 

Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns against Daniel Evans of Great Britain during their 2019 US Open men’s singles match in New York on Friday. — AFP photo

Top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic rolled into the US Open fourth round on Friday while Serena Williams and Roger Federer cruised into the last 16 and Kei Nishikori was eliminated.

Djokovic, champion in four of the past five Slams and 16 overall, was less bothered by left shoulder pain that nagged him in the second round in defeating 111th-ranked American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Djokovic, who needed treatment throughout his second-round triumph, skipped practice Thursday in favor of shoulder treatment.

The 32-year-old Serbian, a three-time US Open winner, booked a Sunday showdown with three-time Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, the Swiss 23rd seed who eliminated Italian lucky loser Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 7-6 (11/9), 7-6 (7/4).

Djokovic, no worse than a US Open semi-finalist since a third-round exit in 2006, leads Wawrinka 19-5 in their all-time rivalry, but they haven’t met since Wawrinka beat Djokovic in the 2016 US Open final.

Federer routed Britain’s 58th-ranked Dan Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in only 80 minutes, blasting 48 winners to just seven for Evans. After dropping the first set in his first two matches, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was solid from start to finish.

Evans blasted organizers for giving him short rest after a rain-delayed match while his 38-year-old Swiss rival rested after playing Wednesday under the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams continued her quest for a 24th career Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record by crushing 44th-ranked Czech Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes.

The 37-year-old American, a six-time US Open champion, last won a Slam at the 2017 Australian Open and hasn’t won the US Open since 2014.

Japanese seventh seed Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, lost to Australia’s Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. The 20-year-old Aussie, on his deepest Grand Slam run, took his first victory over a top-10 foe in 12 tries.

Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev made an obscene gesture during his 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 victory over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

The ATP Cincinnati winner was booed by the crowd repeatedly after holding an upraised middle finger aside his head for stadium cameras but away from chair umpire Damien Dumusois after receiving a code violation.

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