Flushing Meadows, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Former champions Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were among the winners Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open.
Djokovic, the 2011 winner at Flushing Meadows and reigning Wimbledon champion, needed a mere 86 minutes in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 rout of American Sam Querrey at Ashe Stadium, while Murray, the 2012 U.S. Open champ, had a bit more of a struggle in a 6-2, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 triumph over Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.
The top-seeded Djokovic has not lost more than four games in a set through his first three matches as he pushes toward a fifth straight appearance in the title match at the USTA National Tennis Center. He has lost in the final each of the last two years, including 2012 to Murray, and also fell in the 2010 title match.
“I played very solid, from the first to the last point,” said Djokovic about his performance Saturday. “I am thrilled.”
Djokovic will next take on the winner between American John Isner and Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Murray blitzed Kuznetsov in a 30-minute first set and appeared ready to close it out in three, but the Russian broke twice in the third set to force the Scotsman into a longer day. Murray, though, broke three times in the fourth to close it out in 2 1/2 hours.
“I got off to a good start, then had a bit of a cushion when he started to get back in the match,” said Murray. “I just tried to stay solid in the fourth set and thankfully it paid off.”
Next up for the eighth-seeded Murray will be Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 winner Saturday over Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
Other early winners Saturday were fifth-seeded Milos Raonic and 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori.
Raonic advanced to the fourth round in New York for the third straight year thanks to a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3) win over Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic. The Canadian has yet to advance past the round of 16 however, and will try to do so against Nishikori, who thumped Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Also scheduled for later will be Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka. The third seed from Switzerland will take on Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic.