The Straits Times
Published on Sep 03, 2012

Early bird Djokovic, Ferrer into US Open last 16


NEW YORK (AFP) - Defending champion Novak Djokovic shook the sleep from his eyes to reach the United States (US) Open last 16 on Sunday while low-key fourth seed David Ferrer ended Lleyton Hewitt's latest attempt to roll back the years.

Djokovic coasted past French 30th seed Julien Benneteau 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 despite being forced to open up play on day seven at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Ferrer, a semi-finalist in 2007, clinched a 7-6 (11/9), 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Australian wildcard Hewitt, the 2001 champion who is now ranked 125th.

Second-seeded Djokovic didn't face a single break point in his 97 minute victory, his fourth on the trot against Benneteau, firing 13 aces and 41 winners.