NEW YORK (AFP) – Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer advanced with ease Tuesday at the U.S. Open but 2011 winner Samantha Stosur was ousted by teen qualifier Victoria Duval.
Six-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic who captured his fourth Australian Open crown in January, launched his quest for a fourth consecutive U.S. Open final by beating Lithuanian 112th-ranked Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
“I managed to make a lot of breaks in the beginning of the match and take over control,” Djokovic said. “That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to play every point like it’s match point and I’m happy with the performance overall.”
Djokovic fired 10 aces and 28 winners and needed only 82 minutes to put himself into a last-64 matchup against Germany’s Benjamin Becker.
Djokovic, the 2011 U.S. Open winner who lost to Andy Murray in last year’s final and last month’s Wimbledon final, improved to 12-1 in Arthur Ashe Stadium night matches, what he called “the most special night matches of any tournament anywhere in the world.”
Duval, a daughter of Haitian parents ranked 296th in the world, pulled the day’s shocker with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Australian 11th seed Stosur in a tense struggle that lasted for two hours and 39 minutes.
“A lot of different emotions. Mostly happiness,” the 17-year-old with the high-pitched voice said. “I played amazing today. The whole match was just really an incredible match and I’m happy I pulled through.”
It was only the second Slam match for Duval, who lost to Kim Clijsters last year at New York, and her first meeting with a top-20 rival.
Stosur made 56 unforced errors, 21 more than Duval, on her way to a her 15th first-round Slam exit, the first since last year’s Australian Open.
“Just let every single opportunity slip away and made too many errors and it really cost me,” Stosur said. “I needed to step up more and do more. I’m not going to be a sore loser and say she didn’t do anything but I certainly helped her out there, that’s for sure.”
Stosur split with long-time coach David Taylor just ahead of the U.S. Open, but said she could not say if that was a factor in the loss.
Copyright 2013 The National Memo