Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014 05:39 | By Agence France-Presse

Dancing Djokovic, leopard Serena ease on as Ivanovic stunned

Novak Djokovic reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the 25th consecutive time while Serena Williams racked up her 80th US Open win on Thursday.


Dancing Djokovic, leopard Serena ease on as Ivanovic stunned

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot to Paul-Henri Mathieu of France during their 2014 US Open men's singles match on August 28, 2014 in New York - by Kena Betancur

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic, however, became the second top 10 seed to suffer a shock early New York exit as stiff winds brought new challenges at Flushing Meadows where players have already been tackling plus-30 degree heat (+90F) in the first week.

World number one and top seed Djokovic breezed past France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, firing 13 aces and 33 winners as the 2011 champion comfortably remained in course for a fifth successive final appearance.

"It's very windy, but I managed to adjust to the conditions that obviously are not easy for myself and my opponent," said Djokovic, who next meets Sam Querrey of the United States, after his brief 90-minute appearance. 

"I managed to play better in the important moments, play solid, use my serve efficiently -- with accuracy rather than speed."

Djokovic, whose last defeat at a major before the third round was at Wimbledon in 2008, looked more uncomfortable being asked to demonstrate some dance steps for the crowd than he did facing anything that Mathieu threw at him.

World number one Williams, chasing a third successive New York title, her sixth in total and an 18th major, fired 25 winners past Vania King and broke serve six times, wrapping up a 6-1, 6-0 victory on windswept Arthur Ashe Stadium in just 56 minutes.

It was her second win over an American at the tournament this week after beating teenager Taylor Townsend and next she will face another in Varvara Lepchenko for a place in the last 16.

"It's so hard to play in the wind but I am happy to get through a solid match with the conditions today," said the top seed whose colourful leopard print dress was as striking as her tennis.

"It wasn't easy, but you have to be able to adjust. I had fun out here, I enjoy playing out on Arthur Ashe court."

Williams came into the US Open without a major this year but with five tour titles.

One of those came in Cincinnati where she defeated Ana Ivanovic whose Flushing Meadows campaign was ended by Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

- Kvitova, Azarenka through -

Ivanovic, the eighth seed, lost 7-5, 6-4 to the 42nd-ranked Pliskova who has reached the third round at a major for the first time.

The Serb followed fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska out of the tournament after the Pole had been beaten by Peng Shuai 24 hours earlier.

Ivanovic came into New York as a potential title contender having captured trophies at Auckland, Monterrey and Birmingham this year while returning to the top ten for the first time in five years.

But the former French Open champion was undone on Thursday by 29 unforced errors while facing 13 break points as she crashed to her earliest exit in New York in six years.

"It's very disappointing. It's never easy to finish this early," said Ivanovic.

"I'm definitely going to assess what went wrong and what I can work on. I really felt it wasn't my game out there today."

There were no such dramas for third-seeded Petra Kvitova who defeated Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 6-2.

The Wimbledon champion fired 23 winners past her 63rd-ranked fellow Czech and goes on to face either American 27th seed Madison Keys or Serb qualifier Aleksandra Krunic for a place in the last 16.

Victoria Azarenka, the runner-up to Williams for the past two years, also made it through, winning nine games in succession from 0-3 down to defeat Christina McHale of the United States 6-3, 6-2.

"She started really well and was hitting her targets. I was on the back foot but eventually I got my momentum," said Azarenka who next meets Russia's Elena Vesnina.

The United States only saw three men making the second round -- the country's lowest total in the history of the tournament -- but 13th seed John Isner and Querrey have made it to the last 32.

Isner, a quarter-finalist in 2011, beat Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-2 while Querrey beat Spain's Guillermo Garcia Lopez for the fourth time in four meetings -- including last week's Winston Salem warm-up -- thanks to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Later Thursday, Andy Murray, the 2012 champion, meets 27-year-old German qualifier Matthias Bachinger, the world number 235.

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