By Diane Pucin, Los Angeles Times –
NEW YORK — Serena Williams was scary good playing tennis Monday. The fourth-seeded Williams advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Andrea Hlavackova in which Williams won 60 of the 89 points played.
Mardy Fish, a 30-year-old American who was scheduled to play top-seeded Roger Federer maybe left the U.S. Open a little scared.
Fish, who grew up in Minnesota and who lives in Los Angeles, withdrew from the tournament before his scheduled match Monday, saying in a statement he was following a doctor’s advice.
And after the hubbub created by Williams’ percussive performance and Fish’s worrying withdrawal, second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was thoroughly beaten by 20th-seeded Italian veteran Roberta Vinci, 6-1, 6-4.
Radwanska had made it to the Wimbledon final this summer (she lost in three sets to Williams), but the 23-year-old from Poland could never locate her clever net game.
Monday night, third-seeded Andy Murray, who came to this event filled with confidence after he won the Olympic singles gold medal, thoroughly dominated 15th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic in an efficient 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win in a match in which Murray never had to defend a break point against his serve.
Fish was supposed to play Federer on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the day Monday.
Earlier this season, Fish had missed about two months after he had a procedure on his heart to correct an accelerated heartbeat.
And after Fish had finished a four-set win over Gilles Simon about 1 a.m. Sunday, the 23rd-seeded American did not appear at a requested news conference because he was getting unspecified medical treatment.
In a statement Fish said he was “reluctant” to withdraw. “But I am following medical advisement,” Fish said.
Bob Bryan, who with his twin brother, Mike, advanced into the men’s doubles quarterfinals, said he saw Fish in the locker room Monday afternoon.
“He didn’t look right,” Bob Bryan said. Mike added, “Anything goes wrong with your heart is scary … speeding up or slowing down, doesn’t matter. He’s worried about it for sure.”
Federer, who has a career 8-1 advantage over Fish, also spoke in a statement. “I am really sorry for Mardy,” said five-time Open champion Federer, who is into the quarterfinals of this tournament for the ninth straight year and into his 34th consecutive Grand Slam-level quarterfinal.
Up next for Federer will be sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych. Berdych, who upset Federer in the 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinals, was a decisive 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1 winner over 11th-seeded Nicolas Almagro.
With rain strongly in the forecast for the next few days, Williams did her part to speed play along.
Hlavackova, who was a 2011 French Open doubles champion, said herself what anyone who witnessed her match against Williams felt.
“Serena was just too good,” Hlavackova said. “Give credit to her. When she’s on like that, she’s too good.
“The first point of the match, when I served, and she returned, like a 100-mph forehand return, I was like, ‘OK, I know who I’m playing. You don’t have to prove it to me. I know.’ ”
Williams is next scheduled to play former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals, and the outlook for the 12th-seeded Ivanovic, who beat unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-0, 6-4, may be as uncertain as the weather forecast.
“I’d like to play better during the second week,” Williams said. “I’m getting back to more my game.”