Serena Williams cruises through
A review of the action from day four of the women's singles at the US Open.
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Serena Williams wasted little time reaching the third round of the US Open with a comfortable victory over Galina Voskoboeva.
The Kazakh, ranked 77th in the world, put up a better fight than the 6-3 6-0 scoreline suggested but it was still nowhere near enough to threaten the world number one.
In her first-round match against Francesca Schiavone, Williams had won the first 10 games and looked on course for a 'double bagel' until the Italian at last managed to win a game.
Voskoboeva must have been more than a little relieved, therefore, when she held serve in the opening game, and she even had a break point for a 3-1 lead.
But Williams saved that, and from there things went downhill for her opponent, who won only one more game in the match.
The games were often close, and Voskoboeva was certainly not afraid to attack Williams, but the American was too solid when it really mattered.
The match had been due to be played on Wednesday but was rained off, meaning Williams will have to come back on Friday for her third-round contest against another Kazakh, Yaroslava Shvedova.
Sara Errani admitted she felt so weighed down by pressure that she did not want to go on the court before losing to Flavia Pennetta.
The Italian rocketed up the rankings last year from 45th to sixth, reaching the final of the French Open and the semi-finals in New York and winning four WTA Tour titles.
She has had another good season but has struggled over the last month on the hard courts of North America.
Maria Sharapova's withdrawal meant she was elevated to fourth seed, which for Errani was the worst thing that could have happened.
She was no match for her fellow Italian Pennetta, losing 6-3 6-1, and afterwards was distressed.
World number two Victoria Azarenka safely progressed through to the third round with a 6-3 6-1 triumph over Aleksandra Wozniak.
Azarenka looked set to sweep aside Wozniak in double-quick fashion after racing 5-0 ahead in the opening set with barely quarter of an hour gone at Louis Armstrong Stadium, dropping just four points in the process.
Canadian Wozniak finally stemmed the onslaught and pulled three games back, but she could not deny Belarus ace Azarenka the set.
The second set was even more comfortable for Azarenka, who dropped just the one game as she completed victory in 68 minutes.
Second-seeded Azarenka, looking for the third grand slam singles title of her career, will next face Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, the 26th seed who defeated Ajla Tomljanovic.
Sixth seed Caroline Wozniacki played the first match of the night session on Arthur Ashe and brushed aside Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-1 6-2.
The Dane is the highest seed left in the third quarter of the draw after Errani's exit and looks in good form.
There were no more late-night heroics from 17-year-old American Victoria Duval, who lost to Daniela Hantuchova 6-2 6-3.
The qualifier produced the performance of the day on Tuesday to knock out former champion Sam Stosur but was well beaten by the Slovakian.
Eighth seed Angelique Kerber had a tricky draw against rising star Eugenie Bouchard, and she was given a real battle before coming through 6-4 2-6 6-3.
Ninth seed Jelena Jankovic is also through, beating Alisa Kleybanova 6-3 6-2 to end the Russian's first grand slam since she recovered from cancer.
Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, 10th seed Roberta Vinci and former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova were other winners.
Ana Ivanovic, seeded 13th here, also had a comfortable win, beating Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-2 6-1.
Ivanovic can certainly empathise with Errani having reached world number one following her French Open victory in 2008 and then wilted under the pressure.
She has spent the last five years trying to get back to the same level, and is yet to manage it.