NEW YORK — World No 1 Novak Djokovic produced a superb performance to thrash Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 and roar into the quarter-finals of the US Open today.
The Serbian barely put a foot wrong, hitting 34 winners to just 15 unforced errors and losing just 15 points in the final two sets combined, as he sauntered to victory in just under an hour and 20 minutes.
The six-time Grand Slam champion won this title in 2011 and he will now face the 21st seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the last eight.
Djokovic was incredibly dominant on serve and won the first 25 points on his own delivery, which took him into the second set.
Granollers managed to hold serve three times himself in the first set but, from 5-3 up in the opener, Djokovic reeled off 13 straight games.
World No 43 Granollers eventually earned his first break point of the match in the final game but Djokovic was in no mood to give away consolations and won that point, before going on to secure victory with a typically crafty drop-shot lob combination.
Resurgent Flavia Pennetta easily overcame compatriot Roberta Vinci to reach her first-ever grand slam semi-final. The 31-year-old has fallen to 83 in the world rankings after undergoing wrist surgery last season, but produced another excellent performance to cruise through to the last four at Flushing Meadows.
Still to drop a set in the tournament, she preserved that unblemished record with a resounding 6-4 6-1 success on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. Having beaten seeds in her previous three rounds (Sara Errani, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Simona Halep), she did so again in some style against Vinci, ousting her tenth-seeded rival in just one hour and five minutes.
Pennetta shaded a hard-fought first set, securing three breaks of serve to Vinci’s two as she got her nose in front.
But the second was a much more one-sided affair as she broke her opponent on a further three occasions with Vinci unable to make any inroads her own delivery, failing to register a single break-point.
Andy Murray played down concerns that he aggravated a back injury during his fourth-round win over Denis Istomin.
The defending champion looked in discomfort at times as he ground out a 6-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory, but he insisted he was more troubled by the cold and breezy conditions on the Arthur Ashe Court.
His previous match against Florian Mayer had been played in stifling heat and humidity, and he struggled to make the adjustment to the cooler temperatures for his night-time clash with Istomin.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams ruined Carla Suarez Navarro’s birthday celebrations as the defending champion raced into the semi-finals of the US Open without dropping a game. Suarez Navarro turned 25 today but there was little birthday cheer as Williams secured a 6-0, 6-0 victory in just 52 minutes.
There was little surprise in the result, with the Spaniard having won a total of five games in her previous two encounters against Williams. However Williams believed the conditions — with the wind swirling around Arthur Ashe Stadium — counted in her favour. (Sky)