- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2011

NEW YORK Roger Federer put on a serving clinic in his victory Thursday, and Juan Carlo Ferrero survived a marathon match at the U.S. Open.

Federer blasted his way to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Israel’s Dudi Sela, and Ferrero reached the third round by outlasting seventh-seeded Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4 in a thrill-a-minute affair that lasted nearly five hours.

No. 28 Serena Williams took the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium after Federer for her second-round match and took down qualifier Michaella Krajicek 6-0, 6-1.

The crowd in Louis Armstrong Stadium saluted Ferrero and Monfils with a standing ovation before the final game, which Ferrero, 31, served out at love. He was the French Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up and briefly reached No. 1 in 2003, but the Spaniard has battled injuries most of this season and is ranked 105th.


Ferrero lost in the first round at two hard-court tuneup tournaments last month.

But on Thursday, he played more steadily than Monfils, who offset 21 aces and 81 total winners with 81 unforced errors.

Federer finished with six aces and maxed out at 128 mph in what looked very much like a tune-up - a second-round win that took only 1 hour, 17 minutes.

Federer came into the U.S. Open as the third seed and is trying to avoid going an entire year without a major victory for the first time since 2002. He turned 30 on Aug. 8 and questions often revolve around how long he can stay at the elite level.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 8 Mardy Fish were scheduled for later matches, as was top-seeded woman Caroline Wozniacki, who is in search of her first major title.

In other early action, No. 16 Ana Ivanovic got a walkover when her opponent, Petra Cetkovska, pulled out with an injured quadriceps.

No. 7 Francesca Schiavone also had an easy day in a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Mirjana Lucic.

No. 11 Jelena Jankovic and No. 18 Roberta Vinci also advanced in straight sets, and No. 10 Andrea Petkovic needed three sets to get by Zheng Jie of China.

On the men’s side, ninth-seeded Tomas Berdych defeated Fabio Fognini of Italy, 7-5, 6-0, 6-0, while No. 7 Gael Monfils split the first two sets against Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Note: Venus Williams says she “absolutely” plans to return to tennis after she withdrew from the U.S. Open because of a recently diagnosed autoimmune disease.

Williams revealed Wednesday after pulling out of her second-round match that she had Sjogren’s syndrome, which can cause fatigue and joint pain.

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