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Czech a walkover for Serena

Serena Williams blanked Andrea Hlavackova to move into the quarter-finals.

NEW YORK – Serena Williams sailed into the quarter-finals of the US Open today after claiming a ‘double bagel’ 6-0 6-0 victory over Andrea Hlavackova

The fourth seed is the favourite to win a fourth crown at Flushing Meadows after enjoying a stellar summer that brought victory at Wimbledon and two Olympic gold medals. And she sent an ominous warning to her rivals by thrashing her completely outmatched Czech opponent.

In the first set Hlavackova won only 10 points but did not let her head drop and was close to winning a game on a number of occasions in the second set.

She even brought up a break point when Williams served for victory but could not convert it and the 30-year-old wrapped up the win after 57 minutes.

Williams hit 31 winners and made only seven unforced errors to set up a quarter-final clash against Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, who she has beaten in their three previous meetings.

Williams said: “Andrea played really well today, even though it was love and love.

“She never gave up so it was really important for me to stay super focused. I think I played really well today, I haven’t played like this in the whole tournament.”

Ivanovic reached her first grand slam quarter-final since winning the French Open in 2008 with a straight-sets victory over Tsvetana Pironkova at the US Open.

The Serb was expected to remain at the top of the game for many years after her triumph at Roland Garros but instead injuries and a crisis of confidence sent her tumbling back down the rankings.

She has been close to the last eight at a number of tournaments since without getting there but this time there was no stopping Ivanovic as she clinched a 6-0 6-4 win in an hour and 11 minutes.

Pironkova is more known for her exploits on grass having reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2010 and pushed Maria Sharapova in the second round this year.

The Bulgarian had lengthy treatment on her neck at the end of the first set and fought hard in the second but could not take the match into a decider.

Ivanovic is now likely to meet Serena Williams, who she has never taken a set off in three previous meetings, including in the fourth round here last year.

Meanwhile Roger Federer progressed to the quarter-finals of the US Open without hitting a ball today as Mardy Fish pulled out of their scheduled fourth-round match for health reasons.

The American needed minor surgery earlier this year to correct an irregular heartbeat and admitted after his five-set second-round win over Nikolay Davydenko that doubts over his health remained.Fish then had another long match against Gilles Simon in the third round, after which he did not do a press conference because of medical reasons.

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