Defending champion and world number two-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 on Friday at the 2012 U.S. Open to advance to the next round at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. It took Djokovic a little over 90 minutes to prevail over the Brazilian Silva, as Djokovic moves on to next meet 31st-seeded Julien Benneteau of France, a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 winner over American Dennis Novikov on Friday.
"It was different conditions today obviously from the first match I played, the night session," said Djokovic. "I didn't know much about my opponent. Never saw him play. So that could have been a difficulty at the start in order to figure out what his game plan is. But I played well from the start to the end."
Also victorious on Friday was another defending champ, 2011 U.S. Open Women's Singles Champion Samantha Stosur of Australia, with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over American Varvara Lepchenko. Up next for Stosur is one of this year's Cinderella stories, Great Britain's Laura Robson, a 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 upset winner on Friday over the ninth-seeded Na Li of China. Just two days ago, Robson ended the singles career of Kim Clijsters with a 7-6, 7-6 win. Stosur has yet to face Robson in her career.
"I think as the match went on I probably became a little bit more comfortable, got used to her spin and maybe the wind a little bit more," Stosur said. "It was tricky out there during the first set, and when it's tight, you know, it's hard to really kick start something. I think once I got that first set then I maybe relaxed a little bit more."
Credit all photos to Kenneth B. Goldberg
Great Britain's Laura Robson was a 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 upset winner on Friday over the ninth-seeded Na Li of China
Defending U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur during her Friday victory over Varvara Lepchenko