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NEW YORK (AFP) – Serena Williams sped past another milestone Saturday en route to the US Open fourth round as men’s contenders Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka clawed their way into the last 16.
World number one Williams dominated Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-1 to surpass Martina Navratilova for most Grand Slam wins by a woman with 307.
Not only has she surpassed Navratilova, she matched Roger Federer’s mark for men.
“To be up there with both men and women is something that’s super-rare, and it actually feels good,’’ said Williams, who said she was ‘’really excited’’ to reach 307.
“Obviously I want to keep that number going higher,’’ added Williams, who will get her chance when she takes on Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova for a quarter-final berth.
In the one hour it took to subdue Larsson, Williams again appeared untroubled by the shoulder injury that has slowed her since her Wimbledon triumph.
“It definitely feels solid,’’ she said. “I’m doing a lot of work on it so I can keep it in this position.’’
While Williams encountered little resistance, it was another story for the top men’s seeds in action.
Wawrinka, a two-time Grand Slam winner and twice a semi-finalist in New York, had the closest call, saving a match point in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (10/8), 6-2 victory over Britain’s Dan Evans.
The 31-year-old third seed saved the match point at 5/6 in the fourth set tiebreaker, breaking the will of his 64th-ranked opponent.
“It’s always good to win by saving match point. It’s always something special, that’s for sure,’’ said Wawrinka, who had his left ankle taped after twisting it during the match. “It was a tough battle and I’m happy to get through.’’
Many of Murray’s troubles against Paolo Lorenzi were of his own making as he allowed the energetic Italian journeyman to make him look ordinary through two sets before pulling himself together to win 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.