Serena Williams eases into last 16 of US Open, Kirilenko out

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Serena Williams continues her Grand Slam winning streak with a smooth third round US Open victory. Unseeded Andrea Hlavackova makes a comeback to eliminate Maria Kirilenko.

As expected, unseeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova was unable to prevent fourth seed Williams staying in competition for her fourth Flushing Meadows title. The course of the initial set, however, did not suggest a great difference between the players as both of them held their serves until 5-4 for Serena. It was only when the Russian was serving to stay in the set that Williams’s quality prevailed. She went 40-15 up and finished off the set by winning the subsequent rally. It turned out Williams has merely been warming up for what was to follow. The American shifted into a higher gear in the second set and demolished Makarova by achieving a triple break and serving perfectly herself. End result: 6-4, 6-0. The second-set bagel will surely send a strong signal to her fourth-round opponent Hlavackova.

82th-ranked Czech Hlavackova pulled off a surprise win over fourteenth seed Maria Kirilenko. The latter was in trouble already in the opener as Hlavackova had a chance to serve out the set, but was broken two times in a row instead. In the second set Kirilenko managed to break back once, but gave away her serve once again and soon it was one set a piece between the Czech and the Russian. Each of them generated one break ball in the decider, but only 26-years Hlavackova managed to convert it. She hit almost twice as many winners as Kirilenko (45-23) and carried out 18 successful net attacks on her way to 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 triumph. We are yet to see if she can upset Serena Williams in her next match and move into US Open quarterfinal for second year in a row.

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