Defending champion Iga Swiatek prevails at the US Open with a 49-minute victory

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Iga Swiatek didn’t hold back against her close friend Kaja Juvan, defeating the Slovenian qualifier 6-0, 6-1 in just 49 minutes on Friday to move into the fourth round of the US Open.

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The top-seeded defending champion from Poland has only lost nine games in the tournament so far. She has given up 19 6-0 sets to her opponents on the WTA Tour this year.

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“I didn’t like the fact that I somehow won against my best friend,” Swiatek told the crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium afterward. “Playing her is like playing a sister… I don’t have many friends, but she’s my best friend.”

Swiatek will next face the winner of the match between 20th seed Jelena Ostapenko and American Bernarda Pera.

In the first match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium, No. 14 seed American Tommy Paul advanced to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the first time, defeating No. 21 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-1, 6-0, 3 :0. 6, 6-3. Paul served the last of his 15 aces and ended the game

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“I felt like I had a much better serve, coming to the net and playing full-court tennis,” said Paul, who reached the semifinals of the Australian Open this year.

Earlier, No. 10 Karolina Muchova moved into the women’s fourth round with a 7-6 (0), 6-3 win over Taylor Townsend.

Muchova, who reached the final of this year’s French Open, matched her best performance at Flushing Meadows by pushing the serve-and-volley American from the net to the baseline. The 132nd Townsend won just 23 of 70 baseline points and had 39 unforced errors.

Muchova entered the US Open with a career-high ranking and momentum after reaching the final at the tuneup event in Cincinnati last month, losing in straight sets to American Coco Gauff.

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She next faces Xinyu Wang of China, who defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Later matches include No. 6 Gauff against No. 32 seed Elise Mertens and a match between two players who recently returned to tennis, Caroline Wozniacki and Jennifer Brady.

Number 2 seed Novak Djokovic will face his Serbian compatriot Laslo Djere, number 32, at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in the evening. Djokovic is seeking his 24th Grand Slam title and the departures of three top seeds in his half of the draw – No. 4 Holger Rune, No. 5 Casper Ruud and No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas – could help clear the way for him .

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