Inspired Azarenka reaches fourth round
4:08am Saturday 1st September 2012 in © Press Association 2014
World number one Victoria Azarenka laid down a marker with a 6-0 6-1 trouncing of Zheng Jie to reach the fourth round of the US Open.
There have been plenty of one-sided matches involving the top seeds this week, but this was different because Zheng is ranked 28th in the world and a tough competitor.
Azarenka began the year with a 26-match winning streak, which included her first grand slam title at the Australian Open, and looked back to that form here.
The Belarusian raced through the first set in only 25 minutes for the loss of just seven points, and it was not until the fourth game of the second set that Zheng got on the board.
The crowd gave the Chinese player a huge cheer but that was to be the only consolation for Zheng, who lasted only 59 minutes in total.
Azarenka, who next plays Georgia's Anna Tatishvili, was playing her first night-session match and credited the New York fans for her sparkling performance.
She said: "I think you guys inspired me to play my best tennis. It's an incredible atmosphere and energy.
"I always wanted to play here, I've watched on TV but it felt really different. It was amazing."