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.”
She hasn’t been losing much lately.
The woman Williams beat in the Wimbledon final, second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, dealt with the 90-degree heat and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic during a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
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.
The man he beat for the gold at the Olympics, and lost to in the Wimbledon title match, Roger Federer, is also Murray’s potential semifinal opponent in New York. Federer dismissed No. 25 Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
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 winning 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. Also, setting aside a disagreement with the chair umpire and a whopping 75 unforced errors, 23rd-seeded Mardy Fish of the United States outlasted a hobbling Gilles Simon of France 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win a third-round U.S. Open match that ended after 1 a.m. EDT today.