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Djokovic Breezes Past Benneteau

New York, U.S.A.

Djokovic© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic is yet to be tested in his title defence at the US Open.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic continued his smooth progress at the US Open, advancing to the fourth round on Sunday in New York with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Frenchman Julien Benneteau.

The second-seeded Djokovic has yet to be extended past three games in nine sets and needed just one hour and 37 minutes to dismiss Benneteau. The Serb lost only 14 points on serve throughout and fired 41 winners to 12 unforced errors.

"I have been playing really well at the US Open the past five years," said Djokovic, who came into Flushing Meadows on the back of victory at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (d. Gasquet) and a runner-up finish at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Federer). "My goal was, in these seven, eight days I had off after the Cincinnati final, to really try to recover, charge my batteries, work on some things in my game, and come out strong from the start. That's what I've done. I feel great on the court. I'm really trying to keep that up."

The 25-year-old Djokovic triumphed at Flushing Meadows last year with victory over Rafael Nadal; he had finished runner-up to Roger Federer in his first major final in 2007. The Belgrade native is bidding to win his second Grand Slam championship of the season, having lifted the trophy at the Australian Open with victory over Nadal.

Next up for Djokovic is Swiss No. 18 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who dismissed 14th-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Wawrinka fired 15 aces and created 23 break point opportunities, converting four to clinch victory in one hour and 50 minutes.

The 27-year-old Wawrinka came into the US Open in a rich vein of form, having reached the Cincinnati semi-finals (l. to Federer).  He is bidding to reach the quarter-finals in New York for the second time after a five-set defeat to Mikhail Youzhny in 2010.

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