30 Aug 2008

Federer overcomes plucky Alves challenge

9:58 am on 30 August 2008

The four-time defending champion Roger Federer has laboured into the third round of the US tennis Open with a 6-3 7-5 6-4 victory over Brazilian qualifier Thiago Alves.

The world number two was far from his top form but blasted 19 aces and lost his serve only once in the two-hour, 14-minute match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

While Federer had an uncharacteristic 46 unforced errors against the 137th-ranked Alves, the Swiss will now face either the Czech Radek Stepanek or Australia's Chris Guccione in the third round.... and remains on track to face the number three seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the year's final grand slam tournament.

Meanwhile there was another upset, a day after world number one Ana Ivanovic was beaten in three sets by Frenchwoman Julie Coin, a qualifier ranked number 188 in the world.

Gilles Muller of Luxembourg has beaten the German Tommy Haas, coming from two sets down to win a tiebreaker then the last two sets.

In other results, China's Olympic star Li Na, who made the semi finals in Beijing, beat the Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 4-6 6-2, while another Russian, Elena Dementieva, beat Britain's Anne Keothavong in straight sets.

Other winners were the Russian Nikolay Davydenko and Jelena Jankovic.