Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Defending champions Andy Murray, Serena Williams coast at U.S. Open

September 1, 2013 -- Updated 2242 GMT (0642 HKT)
Serena Williams' serve worked against Sloane Stephens and she moved into the quarterfinals in New York.
Serena Williams' serve worked against Sloane Stephens and she moved into the quarterfinals in New York.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Murray beats Germany's Florian Mayer to reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open
  • Murray didn't face a break point and hit more than 40 winners as he advanced in straight sets
  • Tomas Berdych moved a step closer to meeting Murray after thumping Julien Benneteau
  • Serena Williams crushes Sloane Stephens after Stephens upset the world No. 1 in Melbourne

(CNN) -- Andy Murray became the first member of the so-called Big Four in men's tennis to flinch at the U.S. Open. He lost a set to Argentina's Leonardo Mayer on Friday.

But the defending men's champion in New York had an easier time in sweltering conditions Sunday, dispatching German Florian Mayer 7-6 6-2 6-2 to move into the fourth round.

Women's defending champion Serena Williams progressed, too, defeating Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-1 in a rematch of their thriller at the Australian Open.

Even though Murray's serve wasn't fully firing, he didn't get broken and struck 42 winners -- double his unforced error count.

It was especially impressive given Mayer's ability to throw off opponents with his change of pace and quirky forehand.

Mayer, ranked as high as 18th and now the world No. 47, needed to claim the opening set to have a chance of upsetting the Scot.

Once Murray took it in a tiebreak, and convincingly, Mayer's shoulders slumped and he proceeded to win four games the rest of the way.

Secret to beating tennis' big four
Andy Murray's historic Wimbledon win
Andy Murray 'held his grit'

Murray was happy he didn't have to spend too long on court -- under two hours -- in the draining conditions.

"It cooled down a little bit towards the end but the first and second sets it was very hot," he said in an interview on court afterwards.

"It was very tough conditions and he's a very tricky opponent," Murray continued. "He plays strange shots and he takes your time away. It's tough to get into a rhythm.

"I'm really glad to come through in three sets."

Murray's next foe is Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, who topped steady Italian Andreas Seppi in five sets.

Looking further ahead, Murray could meet the dangerous Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals and the Czech had an even easier time than Murray on Sunday.

Berdych conceded a mere five games to Frenchman Julien Benneteau.

The 31-year-old Williams, bidding to become the oldest U.S. Open women's winner in the Open era, captured eight of the last nine games to see off Stephens and book a spot in the quarterfinals.

Stephens sent Williams packing in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, although the latter was injured in the match, and some regard the 20-year-old as the future of American tennis.

The pair were friends, fell out when Stephens criticized Williams but are now back on good terms.

Williams next plays Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, who upset Germany's Angelique Kerber in a third-set tiebreak.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
ADVERTISEMENT