Reporting from New York -- Serena Williams gets you fast.
So does Roger Federer.
On a Monday when the wind was swirling so furiously it tore Ana Ivanovic’s visor right off her head, when it made tennis balls move as if an evil magician was at work to sweep an overhead just out of bounds, Williams and Federer blew away their opponents.
Williams, a three-time champion, won her first three games in eight minutes and beat 16th-seeded Ivanovic, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to her ninth U.S. Open quarterfinal.
Federer, a five-time champion who didn’t even take the court on Arthur Ashe Stadium until about 11:50 p.m. EDT on Monday, won the first set in 18 minutes and destroyed Argentina’s Juan Monaco, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0, in 1 hour 22 minutes to walk away a winner at 1:13 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“I thought he fought bravely and sometimes it’s just not your day,” Federer said. “I’m glad it was mine.”
It was because top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and 2004 Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova played for 3:02 that Federer had to play into Tuesday.
The 15th-seeded Russian led a set and a break before falling to Wozniacki, 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-1.
Wozniacki, 21 and a finalist here two years ago, won the first nine points of the final set and Kuznetsova didn’t have the energy to make up for her 78 unforced errors.
“What happened,” Kuznetsova said when asked what happened. “You didn’t see?”
Wozniacki said the wind meant adjusting shots after every changeover.
“From one side you really had to hit through the ball to get it going,” she said. “From the other side you had to watch out not to play too deep.”
It was a puzzle eighth-seeded American Mardy Fish couldn’t figure out during his 6-4, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 loss to 11th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
“The conditions just completely took it away from us,” said Fish, who has never gotten into the quarterfinals of the Open. “It’s kind of a shame that’s what it came down to.”
After being up two sets to one, Fish lost his calm as the breeze made his baggy pants slap against his legs and made him snap at Tsonga during a changeover.
The conditions caused chaos all over the place, and so did some scheduling decisions.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic was placed at Louis Armstrong Stadium, which has about 14,000 fewer seats than Arthur Ashe. Lines to enter the court were measured as nearly half a mile long, so many wanted to see Djokovic against clever young Alexandr Dolgopolov.
For a set, their queuing patience was rewarded. Djokovic, from Serbia, and Dolgopolov, from Ukraine, played an entertaining tiebreak but Djokovic finally took it and then swiftly finished off the match.
He won, 7-6 (14), 6-4, 6-2, to improve to 61-2 this season.
“After the first set, I felt a bit more relaxed and I served well when I needed to,” Djokovic said.
To her credit, Ivanovic never backed away in her match. She had more winners than Williams (20-16). But it was one of Ivanovic’s eight double faults, in the eighth game, that put Williams ahead, 5-3, and Williams served out the first set at love.
Williams also broke Ivanovic in the first game of the second set, an advantage she never lost. Williams, a 13-time major champion, served a 101-mph ace to end the match and said, “I think we could have both played a little better because of the conditions. It was crazy out there. I didn’t even go for winners. I just tried to get it over the net because it was so windy.”