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Top-seeded Novak Djokovic cruises into third round at U.S. Open

August 30, 2013|By Diane Pucin
  • Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot against Benjamin Becker of Germany during their second-round match at U.S. Open on Friday.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot against Benjamin Becker of Germany… (David Goldman / Associated…)

NEW YORK -- Top-seeded Novak Djokovic is just going about his business here at the U.S. Open, winning matches without losing sets and being efficient with his points. He's wasting little energy, a smart thing in the New York heat and humidity.

Djokovic moved into the third round Friday with a 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-2 win over German Benjamin Becker, best remembered for ending Andre Agassi's career here. The win took Djokovic only 1 hour, 51 minutes and he had only 12 unforced errors

"There was a lot of wind that was not consistent," Djokovic said. "It changes direction all the time. So you have to be alert. If you don't go through the ball, if you're not in a right balance, of course it's not always positive. But you need to have this adjustment with footwork, steps, in order to get to the ball.

"My game is getting there. I feel it was a big test for me today. It was a challenge and I needed to overcome it. I'm glad to be through in three sets."

Also winning easily early in the day were third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who moved into the fourth round with a 6-4, 7-6 (1) win over No. 32 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia; and fifth-seeded Li Na of China, who took out 30th-seeded British sensation Laura Robson, 6-2, 7-5.

Li, in particular, was pleased with her play. "I was a little bit surprised," she said, "because I had a lot of aces [11]. So I was like, 'Wow.'

"I think for the last year I have improved a lot on this surface, especially the serve and also to be able to come into the net."

A man finding late-career success is 35-year-old Tommy Haas of Germany, who spends a lot of time training in Malibu and is good friends with Larry Ellison, who owns the tournament in Indian Wells.

Haas moved into the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan. Haas, seeded 12th, is playing here for his 16th time. His best finish was the quarterfinals in 2004.

"I think people in their mid-30s can still do some of their best things. If you look at maybe triathletes guys my age or older, they're doing their best times ever. It's about being smart, about how you train and what you do off the court. And if your body allows you to do all that stuff, then it's really up to you in many ways. It just takes discipline and work."


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