By Fitzgerald Cecilio

Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland and third seed Andy Murray of Britain scored contrasting victories Saturday to make it to the fourth round of the US Open

Federer posted an easy 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over 25th seed Fernando Verdasco in just two hours and two minutes to advance against the winner of the Mardy Fish-Gilles Simon third round showdown.

"Today honestly wasn't hot at all for me," Federer said about the conditions out on court. "Bit of a breeze. It almost cools you down a bit. For me anyway it was no problem."

Federer faced just one break point in the match. In his three matches, the Swiss netter faced only three break points, has been broken only once, and has yet to lose more than four games in a set.

"I had no clue my stats were that good coming in to net," said Federer, who won 22 out of 23 points from net attacks. "I really tried to play offensive against Bjorn Phau in my second round match. I think that gave me the confidence to move forward today."

Federer is eyeing to set an Open Era record by winning his sixth US Open title. He is currently tied with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras with five trophies each.

If Federer wins his sixth title here, he would also become the first player in tennis history to win six titles at two different Grand Slam venues. He currently owns seven titles at Wimbledon.

In contrast, Murray took almost four hours to beat Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(4) to advance against the winner of Milos Raonic-James Blake encounter.

Murray, gold medalist at the London Olympics, looked to dominate the match after taking a two-set lead but he squandered a break advantage to allow Lopez to take the third set.

The fourth set lasted 68 minutes before Murray finally finished off Lopez in the tie-break to clinch the hard-earned win.

In other matches, world No. 12 Nicolas Almagro finished strongly to beat American Jack Sock, 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 7-6(2). He will next face the either sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych or American No. 27 seed Sam Querrey.

Croatian Marin Cilic secured his place in the fourth round after beating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3. He will next face Martin Klizan, who ousted Jeremy Chardy, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

In the women's division, Serena Williams ousted Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4, 6-0, in the third round to avenge her Australian Open loss to the Russian.

"[I] definitely was motivated [to beat her]," Williams said after the match. "Knowing that I lost [in Australia] and that it could definitely happen again. [I] did not want that to happen. So whether I learned something, I don't know. I really hate watching matches that I lose unless I'm punishing myself."

Williams next gets Czech Andrea Hlavackova, who stunned No. 14 seed Maria Kirilenko of Russia, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

In other matches, Angelique Kerber defeated Olga Govortsova, 6-1, 6-2, Sara Errani beat Olga Puchkova, 6-1, 6-1, Agnieszka Radwanska ousted Jelena Jankovic and Roberta Vinci eliminated Dominika Cibulkova, 6-2, 7-5.


Federer, Murray Win to Move on to US Open Fourth Round