Serena show rolls on while Fish bows out

Wed Sep 2, 2015 8:50pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Serena Williams show continued at the U.S. Open as the world number one moved a step closer to a calendar Grand Slam on Wednesday, while Mardy Fish took a final Flushing Meadows bow as the curtain came down on the American's career.

Defending men's champion Marin Cilic and two-time winner Rafa Nadal also eased into the third round with straight sets win as the temperatures and stakes continue to rise at the year's final grand slam.

Bidding to become just the fourth woman to win all four slams in the same year, Williams took another step towards her goal with an error-strewn 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.

The 110th-ranked Bertens put up a valiant fight and had Williams, who struggled with her serve firing 10 double faults, on the ropes in the opening set.

However, the 33-year-old American's class shone through in the second set as she broke Bertens three-times to seal her 23rd consecutive U.S. Open victory.

"I never stop. I keep going and give the best effort that I can," Williams said after raising her 2015 match record to 50-2.

After playing his opening match on an outside court, Cilic took his U.S. Open title defense back to Arthur Ashe Stadium and looked right at home, storming into the third round with a 6-2 6-3 7-5 win over Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy.

During last year's magical run Cilic was invincible on the main court, sweeping past Tomas Berdych in the quarters, taking out Roger Federer in three sets in the semi-finals and Kei Nishikori in a one-sided final.   Continued...

Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands during their second round match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 2, 2015.       REUTERS/Adrees Latif