Federer flattens Brazilian Alves in power play

August 30th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Aug 30 (DPA) Roger Federer stormed ahead in his title defence at the US Open with a second-round victory against an out-classed Brazilian Thiago Alves.The Swiss second seed, who is not at the top of a Grand Slam draw for the first time in more than four and a half years, efficiently demolished Alves 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 here Friday.

The 26-year-old Alves ranked a modest 137 had qualified into the field, playing and winning his only previous Grand Slam match at Flushing Meadows in 2006.

Alves, the protege of three-time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten, had little to offer as Federer rolled him with 54 winners and conversions on four of 15 break chances.

The victory was Federer’s 29th straight at Flushing Meadows.

“I did well, it was a really difficult match,” he said of the victory. “I’d never heard of him, but that’s how it goes sometimes. He did well and made me work hard today.”

He added: “I was never really in danger, so it was actually pretty good for me. I knew the longer the match would go the more tired he would get, so it was was a good match.”

Third seed Novak Djokovic, a loser to Federer in the 2007 final, followed on through a brief interruption for rain sprinkles, shutting down American Robert Kendrick 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, 6-4.

Russian fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko, a semi-finalist at the last two editions, beat Agustin Calleri 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2).

Beijing Olympic Games runner-up Fernando Gonzalez, seeded 11th, moved into a clash with resurgent Finn Jarkko Nieminen after a defeat of American Bobby Reynolds 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-4.

Women’s second seed Jelena Jankovic got out of another potentially sticky situation, rallying through a final game consisting of 11 deuces to advance past China’s Zheng Jie 7-5, 7-5 into the fourth round.

The Serb, who now stands as the woman to beat after No.1 compatriot Ana Ivanovic crashed out in the second round a day earlier, needed five match points to go through to the fourth round over the number 27 from China. She double-faulted her fourth opportunity away.

While the record early defeat does not guarantee Ivanovic the loss of her top spot, the chances are good of that coming to pass.

Jankovic can speed the process if she makes the semi-final at the final major of the season.

Third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 champion, was ambushed by Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3, while Olympic champion Elena Dementieva advanced over Briton Anne Keothavong 6-3, 6-4.

Jankovic, who stood atop the rankings this month before handing over to Ivanivic, said that she does not try to make life difficult on court - it just seems to happen with regularity.

“I wish I didn’t have any drama in my matches,” she said. “I wish I would win nice and in a simple way.

“But sometimes it’s more exciting for the fans and a little more stressful for the people in my box. But as long as you win, that’s what matters.”

Fast-rising Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki made an impression as she defeated 14th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-4, 6-4.

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