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Murray, Williams, Federer reach quarters

NEW YORK -- Andy Murray produced a master class in tennis to destroy the highly rated Milos Raonic on Monday and book his place in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open.

The Olympic champion provided more evidence he could be ready to add a first grand slam title to the gold medal he won in London last month when he blunted one of the biggest serves in the game to win 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

Serena Williams was just as ruthless as she charged into the women's quarters with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Czech Andrea Hlavackova while Roger Federer was gifted a spot in the last eight when Mardy Fish withdrew from the year's final grand slam.

Showing no mercy against her 82nd ranked opponent, Williams sent an ominous warning of her intention to add the U.S. Open title to her recent wins at Wimbledon and the London Olympics with a rare “double bagel” victory in 57 minutes.

“Andrea played really well today even though it was love and love,” Williams said in a courtside interview. “I think I played really well today. I haven't played like that all tournament.”

Williams won the last of her three U.S. Open titles in 2008 but on the evidence of her performances so far, a fourth title at Flushing Meadows appears well within her reach although her toughest challenges await.

The American's next opponent is Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, a former world number one who has rediscovered her best after a lean few years where she struggled with injuries.

Ivanovic advanced on Monday with an impressive 6-0, 6-4 victory over Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova but said she would have to raise her game even higher to compete with Williams.

“She's obviously a great player and she's been playing the best out of all the girls on tour at the moment,” said Ivanovic.

“Her serve is definitely her strength. I really have to be sharp from the first moment on and stay aggressive and stay in the moment.”

Federer advanced to his 34th consecutive grand slam quarterfinal without hitting a ball on the Labor Day holiday in the United States as Fish pulled out with an undisclosed health issue.

“I am really sorry for Mardy,” Federer said. “I just want to wish him a speedy recovery. We all want to see him back on tour soon.”

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 Brian Urlacher targets return in season opener 
Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot against Andrea Hlavackova of Czech Republic during their women's singles fourth round match on Day Eight of the 2012 U.S. Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Monday. (AFP/AP)

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