Nadal battles back while Williams sisters fight on


New York : Rafael Nadal completed a comeback sweep while the Williams sisters Serena and Venus put in a bid for more title success at the US Open, as seeds dominated the start of a three-day holiday weekend.

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Nadal continued to impress in his first Grand Slam as a top seed, pumping out a 6-4, 6-3, 6-0 win over Serb Viktor Troicki for a spot in the fourth round.

The Spaniard won the last 11 games after rallying from a 1-3 deficit in the second set.

Serena and Venus, with four titles at Flushing Meadows between them, produced identical 6-2, 6-1 scorelines in the third round to start the Labour Day weekend.

Fourth seed Serena followed her elder sister’s example, thrashing Japan’s Ai Sugiyama only a few hours after Venus had dispatched Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine.

“I’m definitely at my best now. I think I understand the game more,” said five-time Wimbledon winner Venus. “I’m trying different kind of shots lately, trying to add some variety.

“I felt like I took my time between points, (I was) just hitting it right, just finding my timing,” added the American, who is searching for a first New York trophy since 2001.

Nadal has been on fire in recent months, winning French Open and Wimbledon titles over Roger Federer before claiming the Beijing Olympic gold.

Despite a punishing schedule, the 22-year-old is thriving on court. He completed his sweep of Troicki to claim a runaway win in just under two hours, despite 11 aces from his 71st-ranked opponent.

He next faces the brightest of the American young guns after Sam Querrey, 55th, cut Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic down to size 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Nadal beat the Californian youngster in their only other meeting at Cincinnati in 2006, but Querrey says he – as well as Nadal – are different players now.

“I’m in the fourth round and I to improve my tennis,” said the top seed. “I’m ready to try and play a good match. I know I have to if I want to win.”

Querrey and Karlovic, two of the game’s biggest hitters, rained down 44 aces with the Croatian managing 24 in defeat.

Querrey will be playing in the fourth round of a major for the first time in his two-year career.

British sixth seed Andy Murray will play Swiss number 10 Stan Wawrinka after the pair each recovered from two sets to love down.

Murray worked his magic over Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-7 (5-7), 4- 6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, 6-3 while Wawrinka beat Italian Flavio Cipolla 5-7, 6-7 (4-7), 6-5, 6-0, 6-4.

Amelie Mauresmo ended the dream run of Julie Coin, who stunned world No.1 Ana Ivanovic in the second round, dismissing her inexperienced fellow Frenchwoman 6-4, 6-4.

Mauresmo, a former number one and two-time grand Slam winner, has been working her way out of a slump for the past two seasons.

The No.29 says she’s optimistic of lifting back toward the elite. “My goals are not so much in terms of ranking. It’s more in terms of being able to be in the second week or final spots in the Grand Slams.”