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Serena digs deep to tame Makarova

ESPN staff
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Serena Williams remains on course for US Open glory © PA Photos
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Serena Williams came through a stern examination to book her place in the fourth round of the US Open with a 6-4 6-0 win over Ekaterina Makarova.

The second set scoreline does not do justice to Makarova who caused real problems for Williams in a first set that could have gone either way.

Makarova claimed a shock win over Williams at this year's Australian Open and it was possibly playing on her mind as she found the Russian a tough proposition. Makarova matched the No. 4 seed for much of the contest, but Williams' brilliant serving proved the difference.

Williams has looked on a different plane to any other player in the game this summer and she put pressure on Makarova in her opening service game, but the Russian staved off a break point to hold.

Makarova was swiftly serving again, with Williams breezing through her game, and she again had to stave off a break point.

Makarova was happy to trade with Williams from the baseline and she held in an epic eighth game, but the relentless pressure told in the 10th as, after Williams had again held without any alarm, Makarova produced a rare slack effort to concede the set.

Williams held to love at the start of the second set and with Makarova still possibly reeling from conceding the opening set, a second successive break of serve followed to hand Williams a cushion.

A double break was secured in the fourth game as Makarova wilted in the face of the relentless power of Williams who remains on course to land a title she last won in 2008.

Williams will face Andrea Hlavackova next following her three-set win over Maria Kirilenko.

Agnieszka Radwanska produced another polished performance to topple an inconsistent Jelena Jankovic.

There was not a lot between the pair, but it was Jankovic who paid the price for her failure to keep the ball in play at the vital moments.

Jankovic had a host of chances in the first set, but failed to take them and despite forcing a break at the start of the second - she failed to back it up and the match ran away from her as the No. 2 seed secured a 6-3 7-5 win.

Roberta Vinci is next in line for Radwanska following the Italian's impressive 6-2 7-5 win over the No. 13 seed Dominika Cibulkova.

Ana Ivanovic won the evening clash against Sloane Stephens, but was forced to work hard for her 6(4)-7 6-4 6-2 triumph. Ivanovic wore her American opponent down with a variety of groundstrokes before approaching the net more often as the match progressed.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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