Williams blanks Hlavackova to reach quarters

NEW YORK Mon Sep 3, 2012 5:46pm EDT

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates match point against Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic during their women's singles match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 3, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates match point against Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic during their women's singles match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serena Williams demolished unseeded Czech Andrea Hlavackova with a 'double bagel' 6-0 6-0 victory at the U.S. Open on Monday and gave the rest of the women's field even more reason to lose their appetite with an assessment of her play.

"I honestly don't think I started out strong in the tournament. I feel like today I'm getting more comfortable with the court and comfortable with the conditions," said the 30-year-old Williams, who has lost just 12 games in four matches.

"I'm getting back (more) to my game, which is good. You know, I like to play better during the second week. Hopefully I can do that."

Williams, who basked in a London summer that added a fifth Wimbledon crown and first Olympic singles gold to her glittering resume, will look to reach the semi-finals when she meets former world number one Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.

Blasting eight aces and winning more than three-quarters of her first serves put into play, Williams again rode her power from the service line and registered 31 winners while allowing Hlavackova just 29 points in their 57-minute match.

Again, the 30-year-old Williams said she had room to improve on her devastating serve.

"I hit unbelievable serves at Wimbledon and the Olympics," said Williams, pursuing a fourth U.S. Open title and first since 2008. "I'm not in that level yet, but I always try to play better in my last matches of a grand slam.

The 12th-seeded Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, beat Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-0 6-4 to advance.

Williams, who has beaten Ivanovic in all three of their previous meetings including twice at the U.S. Open, said she would not be taking the Serb lightly.

"She's playing well. Every time I play her in particular she plays really well," Williams said. "She goes for a lot of shots. She's such a big hitter. Obviously being number one, having that grand slam under your belt, she knows what it's like to win."

Williams, winner of 14 grand slam titles, knows about being in a winning mode and believes she is closing in on top form.

"I feel good. I feel like I'm playing better," she said. "I felt like I hit better today than I had in my other matches. As each match goes on I want to try to get better."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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