Serena Williams, Barty reach Round of 16 at US Open

New York, Aug 31 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/31/2019 11:16:53 AM IST

Serena Williams moved another step closer to a record-tying 24th career Grand Slam title with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 victory over Czech Karolina Muchova on Friday to reach the last 16 at the U.S. Open.

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Muchova held serve for an early 3-2 lead in her first career meeting with Williams but the six-times champion cranked up the pace and won the next seven games to take over the match.

Williams took advantage of a poor serving performance by Muchova and broke her opponent five times, including in the final game where she sealed the victory with when the Czech sent a backhand long.

Up next for Williams will be Croatian 22nd seed Petra Martic, who beat Latvian Anastasija Sevastova earlier on Friday.

Second-seeded Ash Barty advanced to the round of 16 at the U.S. Open with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Maria Sakkari.

Barty, the reigning French Open champ who faced tough tests in her first two rounds, employed a steady baseline game and took advantage of 39 unforced errors from the 29th-ranked Sakkari.

This is the second year in a row Barty has advanced to the final 16. She next faces the winner of the match later Friday between 18th-seeded Qiang Wang and Fiona Ferro.

Meanwhile, Madison Keys overcame a health scare in the second set to reach the last 16 for a fifth consecutive year with a 6-3 7-5 win over fellow American Sofia Kenin.

The American 10th seed used a serving masterclass to breeze through the first set but her game noticeably dropped off in the second where she had her pulse and blood pressure checked while trailing 4-3.

But Keys, who fell to Sloane Stephens in the 2017 final and to eventual champion Naomi Osaka in last year’s semi-final, returned to the court and eventually got the decisive break in the 11th game before serving out the match.

Keys turned aside each of the eight break points she faced in the match, including a pair in the final game.

Up next for Keys will be Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina, who crushed Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-0 earlier on Friday.

Federer, Djokovic reach Round of 16
Swiss great Roger Federer and world No.1 Novak Djokovic won their respective third-round matches to enter the Round of 16. After conceding the opening set in both his first and second round victories, Federer came out with a power packed performance and defeated Daniel Evans of Britain 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in just just one hour and 20 minutes on Friday evening. 
The No. 3 seeded Swiss was the stronger player from the baseline and hit 48 winners including 10 aces. Moreover, Federer won 80 per cent of first serve points and 70 per cent on his second serve.
The five-time champion is into the Round of 16 for the 18th consecutive year. He will be facing David Goffin of Belgium for a place in the quarterfinals. 
In other men’s singles clash, Djokovic dominated his clash against American Denis Kudla, winning in routine straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in a game that lasted a little more than two hours. 
The defending champion was hardly rattled throughout his victory, hitting six aces on a 62 per cent first-serve rate, winning 81 per cent of those points. He also rushed the net 20 times, converting on 15 of those chances. He will face No. 23 Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 US Open champion, in the fourth round. The last time the pair faced each other was in the 2016 US Open final.

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