Novak Djokovic capped a perfect on Thursday for the favourites at the U.S. Open with an entertaining victory over Germany's Philipp Petzschner to reach the third round of the year's final Grand Slam.
Third-seeded Djokovic closed out an irresistible display by the seeds with a lively 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 win at the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Serb's victory marked the fifth successive straight-sets win for seeded players on centre court, although he was forced to work harder than his predecessors against a spirited opponent armed with a formidable serve. The keenly contested encounter was 12 games old before Djokovic managed the first service break, taking a lot of energy out of both players and leading to an unusual third set tiebreak where seven points in a row were won against serve.
Djokovic squandered two match points, double-faulting on the first when serving at 6-4 and then hitting a forehand into the net on the second.
The 52nd-ranked Petzschner, who teamed with Austrian Jurgen Melzer to win this year's Wimbledon doubles title, sailed a second serve return long to end the two-hour 23-minute match.
Federer wins on aces, Soderling marches on
Roger Federer fired 15 aces on his way to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over 104th-ranked Andreas Beck of Germany. The temperature climbed into the 90s F (mid-30s C) yet again at Flushing Meadows, and Federer showed up for his match wearing a warmup jacket.
Then he put in his 1 hour, 41 minutes on court to ease into the third round. Fifth seed Robin Soderling will next play Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands, who advanced when Ivan Dodig quit in the fourth set because of cramping.
Sharapova overcomes Benesova
Maria Sharapova joined a stampede of easy centre court winners at the U.S. Open on Thursday when the former champion trampled Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round.