Serena, Lina in quarters

Serena, Lina in quarters

Defending champion Andy Murray and 2001 winner Lleyton Hewitt made light of the heavy, humid New York conditions to breeze into the US Open last 16....

Murray, Hewitt in pre-quarters of US Open

New York (AFP): Defending champion Andy Murray and 2001 winner Lleyton Hewitt made light of the heavy, humid New York conditions to breeze into the US Open last 16. Third-seeded Murray, who ended his country's 76-year wait for a Grand Slam men's champion when he won his maiden major title in New York last year, eased past Germany's world number 49 Florian Mayer, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-2. His win was built on an impressive 42 winners and seven aces.

Murray, the reigning Olympic and Wimbledon champion, will next face Uzbekistan's world number 65 Denis Istomin, who put out Italian 20th seed Andreas Seppi, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 6-1. Istomin will be playing in the last 16 in New York for the first time after ending Seppi's perfect streak of seven five-set wins in 2013. Two of those came against him at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Murray defeated Istomin in their only match in the quarter-finals at Brisbane in January this year. Meanwhile, Hewitt reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the 30th time with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 win over Russia's Evgeny Donskoy.

Fifth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and Swiss ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka will clash for a spot in the quarter-finals. Berdych, who defeated five-time winner Roger Federer on his way to the semi-finals last year, eased past French 31st seed Julien Benneteau, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Defending champion Serena Williams won her much-anticipated US Open showdown with Sloane Stephens while Li Na avenged a painful loss in Rome to join the world number one in the last eight. Williams booked a quarter-final against Spanish 18th seed Carla Suarez Navarro, who upset German eighth seed Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

Also booking a quarter-final matchup were Chinese fifth seed Li, who beat Serbian ninth seed Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-0, and Russian 24th seed Ekaterina Makarova, who upset Polish third seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4. Li, the 2011 French Open champion, matched her best US Open result by reaching the last eight.

Meanwhile, Rohan Bopanna's campaign ended at the US Open after the Indian and his French partner Edourad Roger-Vasselin suffered a straight-set defeat at the hands of Britain's Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray in the men's doubles third round here.

The sixth seeded Indo-French combo was stunned by Fleming and Marray, seeded 12th, 6-4 6-4 in a contest that lasted 81 minutes last night. Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin could convert just one out of six breakpoints they got to go down tamely against the lower-ranked opponents.

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