Federer and Serena Williams came
through their first real tests at the
U.S. Open on Saturday with flying
colours as the casualty toll at the
last grand slam of the year soared
to record numbers.
The former world number ones
both faced dangerous opponents
but survived to fight another day,
advancing safely to the fourth
round at Flushing Meadows.
Their performances were not
perfect but still sent an ominous
warning to their younger rivals
about their intentions to add to
their stockpile of major
"As long as I'm in the tournament
I know I have a shot and that's
what it's about right now," said
Federer, who beat Croatia's Marin
Cilic 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2.
The Swiss master dropped a set
for the first time in the
tournament but was unfazed.
"I seriously don't care how I'm
playing. I wish I play my best
every single time and feel
amazing. That's not reality," he
"That's what the beauty of this
game is, trying to find a way
when you're not feeling great."
Williams beat fourth seed Victoria
Azarenka of Belarus 6-1 7-6 but
was running on empty by the
The pair had been drawn
together much earlier than
expected because Williams, who
has only just returned from a long
injury layoff, has slipped down
the rankings and was seeded
The American raced through the
first set in less than half an hour
but began to tire in the second,
failing to serve out the match as
Azarenka forced the tiebreaker.
"I definitely wasn't happy with
the way I played overall today,"
"I think my serve, especially in the
second set, pretty much was
below 50 per cent. I was a wee
bit disappointed but I can build
Federer will play unseeded
Argentine Juan Monaco in the
round of 16 on Monday, while
Williams faces former French
Open champion Ana Ivanovic
after she beat American wildcard
Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-4.
The two current world number
ones, Novak Djokovic and Caroline
Wozniacki, both breezed through
with straight-set wins on the
Arthur Ashe Stadium after
overcoming minor problems.
Djokovic beat Nikolay Davydenko
of Russia 6-3 6-4 6-2 while
Wozniacki produced a methodical
6-2 6-4 victory over unseeded
American Vania King.
Davydenko presented Djokovic
with some problems early on but
the top seed eventually worked
him out and was glad to have
"It's the first test I think I had this
tournament and it was expected,"
"I was aware of his qualities.
Davydenko is a great player. He's
been around for many years. He
knows how to play on this
stadium. He knows how to play
Wozniacki struggled with her
serve as the wind on the Arthur
Ashe Stadium center court blew
"It was very windy out there
today. It wasn't just going one
way, it was kind of shifting,"
"I found it very difficult to place
the ball the places I wanted to, so
quite a few times I was going for
the safe serve."
Wozniacki's next opponent is
Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, the
2004 U.S. Open champion, who
beat Akgul Amanmuradova of
Uzbekistan 6-4 6-2.
Jelena Jankovic, a finalist at the
U.S. Open three years ago, was
bundled out 6-4 6-4 by Russia's
She faces Francesca Schiavone of
Italy next after last year's French
Open champion saved a match
point in her 5-7 7-6 6-3 win over
South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers.
"It's great to come back after a
fight like this," Schiavone said.
Tomas Berdych, seeded ninth,
quit his match against Serbian
Janko Tipsarevic in the second set
because of shoulder pain.
Spain's Marcel Granollers also
threw in the towel against
compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero,
taking the total number of
retirements in the first six days of
the tournament to 14, a record at
a grand slam, with two walkovers
and two withdrawals also