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Serena avenges loss in January


February 16. 2013 9:39PM


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NEW YORK — Serena Williams does not enjoy viewing videos of her losses. Not one bit.


She used to engage in that sort of film work, Williams said, but "it was so painful; it was like stabbing myself."


So even though Williams knew her third-round opponent at the U.S. Open would be the same woman she lost to at the Australian Open, preparing by studying a replay of that January defeat simply was out of the question.


Did not seem to matter at all.


After splitting Saturday's first eight games against 42nd-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, the fourth-seeded Williams got into high gear and breezed to a 6-4, 6-0 victory, reeling off the last eight games in a row.


"Definitely was motivated. Knowing that I lost; could definitely happen again. Did not want that to happen," said Williams, who hit 13 aces to raise her tour-leading total this season to 408.


"I really hate watching matches that I lose, unless I'm punishing myself," added the 14-time Grand Slam champion. "I didn't punish myself."


The woman Williams beat in the Wimbledon final, second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, dealt with the 90-degree heat and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic with equal aplomb during a 6-3, 7-5 victory.


"I was feeling like I was melting there," Radwanska said. "I survived the match."


She wasn't the only one who felt that way.


Olympic champion Andy Murray, still seeking his first Grand Slam title after four losses in finals, eked out a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4) victory over No. 30 Feliciano Lopez, who led in each of the three tiebreakers before faltering.


"Could have gone either way," Murray acknowledged. "It was very hot and humid in the middle part of the match. I was struggling a bit with that."


The man he beat for the gold at the Summer Games, and lost to in the Wimbledon title match, Roger Federer, is also Murray's potential semifinal opponent in New York. Federer, as is often the case, barely was bothered Saturday while dismissing No. 25 Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.


Five of Federer's record 17 Grand Slam titles came at Flushing Meadows, and he's sure looking capable of adding to those numbers.


Federer also was pretty good at the net, winning 26 of the 27 points when he moved forward. He next will take on the winner of Saturday night's match between No. 16 Gilles Simon and No. 23 Mardy Fish. Murray gets No. 15 Milos Raonic, who hit his 29th ace of the day, and 89th of the week, to cap a 6-3, 6-0, 7-6 (3) victory against 32-year-old American wild-card entry James Blake.


Other men's winners Saturday included No. 11 Nicolas Almagro, who ended the run of 19-year-old American Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2), 6-1; No. 12 Marin Cilic, who defeated No. 17 Kei Nishikori; and 50th-ranked Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who beat No. 32 Jeremy Chardy.




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