Federer keeps American dream alive with easy win

ROGER FEDERER booked his place in the third round of the US Open last night after easing to a straight-sets victory over Brazilian qualifier Thiago Alves.

The second seed from Switzerland was made to work by the unfancied world number 137, who allowed just four breaks of serve in the match, but the result was never in doubt as Federer cantered to a 6-3 7-5 6-4 triumph in two hours and 14 minutes.

Federer is seeking his fifth straight victory at Flushing Meadows and looked in imperious form at times, thumping down 19 aces and 54 winners to quell the early enthusiasm of his opponent.

Federer remains on course for a quarter-final meeting with fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko, who kept up his serene progress in New York with a 6-4 6-4 7-6 win over Argentine Agustin Calleri.

Davydenko will meet fellow Russian Dmitry Tursunov in the third round.

In the same quarter of the draw, Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller caused a surprise by recovering from two sets down to beat Tommy Haas.

Muller reached the third round of a Grand Slam for only the second time his career — and the first time in New York — after a 2-6 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-3 win.

Fernando Gonzalez survived an injury scare before getting the better of American Bobby Reynolds.

The Chilean, seeded 11th, needed treatment after turning his ankle in his 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-4 win.

Gonzalez meets Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in the last 32.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion Elena Dementieva brought British number one Anne Keothavong’s surprise run at the US Open to a close in straight sets in New York.

Dementieva was bidding to be just the third player to land an Olympic and US Open double after Steffi Graf in 1988 and Venus Williams in 2000.

The Russian advanced to the fourth round and a meeting with China’s world number 36 La Ni, after beating 24-year-old Keothavong 6-3 6-4 on the Louis Armstrong Stadium court.

Yet the match was not at all one-sided, with Keothavong pushing Dementieva all the way only to convert just three of 10 break points in the 88-minute encounter.

The Russian fifth seed now meets China’s Li Na, who beat Ektarina Makarova 6-1 4-6 6-2, for a place in the quarter-finals.

Second seed Jelena Jankovic made life hard for herself but ultimately progressed with a straight-sets win over China’s Zheng Jie.

Jankovic defeated world number 37 Zheng 7-5 7-5 after two hours and nine minutes on Arthur Ashe Court.

Jankovic edged a scrappy first set thanks to the odd break of serve in seven as neither player managed to find rhythm on their service games, the Serbian committing four double faults and Zheng winning just 54% of points on her first service.

The second set offered up more of the same inconsistent fare but Zheng at least showed flashes of the form that took her to the Wimbledon semi-finals earlier this summer while Jankovic was struggling to find the winners.

The match ended in thrilling fashion, however.

Zheng, committing far more unforced errors than she was winners, failed to covert a host of break-point chances when trailing 5-6 in the second, allowing Jankovic to prevail on her fifth match point in a game that ran to 11 deuces.

Next up for Jankovic is a meeting with either 14th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or Caroline Wozniacki, the 21st seed from Denmark.

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