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  • US Open, Day Seven

Djokovic cruises, Roddick lives to fight another day

ESPN staff
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Novak Djokovic continued the defence of his US Open title in impressive fashion as he eased past Julien Benneteau in straight sets to reach the fourth round in New York.

Djokovic, who is yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows, was rarely troubled by the Frenchman as he cruised to a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory in an hour and 37 minutes.

Benneteau gave Federer a real scare at Wimbledon earlier this summer and was expected to present the Serb with a greater test than his opening two matches, but it was a similar story as Djokovic dictated the match from the outset.

Breaking his opponent midway through the opening set, Djokovic tightened his grip with an early break in the second.

The five-time grand slam champion fired 13 aces and dropped just seven points on his first serve, and never afforded his opponent a look in as Benneteau failed to conjure a single break point.

Djokovic, who fired 41 winners and made 12 unforced errors, won five games in a row to wrap up a convincing victory and reach the last 16 in New York for the sixth straight year. He will meet Stanislas Wawrinka in the last 16 after the Swiss defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4 6-4 6-2.

Fourth seed David Ferrer remains on course for a semi-final showdown with Djokovic after the Spaniard defeated a stubborn Lleyton Hewitt in four sets.

After losing a pulsating first set tiebreak, Hewitt, the 2001 US Open champion, rallied to level proceedings, but his endeavours were immediately negated as Ferrer broke for an early lead in the third set before streaking away to a 7-6(9) 4-6 6-3 6-0 victory.

Andy Roddick delayed his impending retirement as the former world No. 1 booked his place in the fourth round with victory over Fabio Fognini.

The American, who has confirmed he will retire after the final major of the year, is aiming to bow out on a high with victory at his home slam, which he won back in 2003. In front of a fiercely patriotic home crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Roddick rolled back the years to clinch a 7-5 7-6(1) 4-6 6-4 victory.

Roddick will face Juan Martin Del Potro in a clash of former champions after the Argentine, who won the title in 2009, reached the fourth round with a 6-3 7-5 7-6(9) victory over compatriot Leonardo Mayer.

Janko Tipsarevic also progressed on Sunday evening, claiming a 6-4 6-3 7-5 victory over Grega Zemlja. The eighth dominated the match, despite landing on 64% of his first serves. Tipsarevic will now face Phillip Kohlschreiber, after the German came through a gruelling five-set marathon to defeat home favourite John Isner.

Richard Gasquet also recorded a comfortable win as he breezed by American Steve Johnson in straight sets. He will now take on Ferrer for a place in the quarter-finals.

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