Day 4 at the U.S. Open wasn't totally devoid of intrigue, but outside of a handful of tightly-contested matchups, many of the day's contests were lopsided affairs. Of the 16 women's matches played, only three went three sets; on the men's side, 12 of the 16 men's matches were decided in three sets, two were decided in four sets, and only two went five sets.
Novak Djokovic, the reigning champion and world No. 1, nearly pulled off a rare feat on Thursday night when he came within a few games of skunking his opponent Carlos Berlocq, 6-0, 6-0, 6-2. After winning the opening set in a mere 20 minutes, Djokovic took all of 29 minutes to win the next six games. Finally in the third frame, Berlocq, who was making his first appearance in the second round of the U.S. Open, put up a bit of a fight. But not before losing the first four games.
Here's about all you need to know about the dominating win:
Djokovic hit 31 winners to 15 unforced errors; Berlocq hit 11 winners to 26 unforced errors; Berlocq did not hold his serve once in the match.
Had the Serbian pulled off the feat, it would have marked only the second time in U.S. Open history that a player won a best-of-five set match without dropping a single game (Ivan Lendl did so over Barry Moir in 1987). Djokovic moves on to the third round where he'll next face Nikolay Davydenko of Russia.
Earlier in the evening, the No. 1 seed on the women's side Caroline Wozniacki also made quick work of her opponent. The 21-year old Dane, playing in her fourth U.S. Open, trounced Aranxta Rus 6-2, 6-0 in just over one hour. Wozniacki only hit eight winners on the match, but there were few opportunities for her to do much more as a result of the ghastly 32 unforced errors committed by Rus. The 2009 runner up will play 22-year old American Vania King in the round of 32.
Speaking of King, the California native advanced on to Round 3 for the second time in six U.S. Opens by defeating Jarmila Gajdosova, 6-2, 6-0. King, the reigning U.S. Open doubles champion will have her hands full against Wozniacki, but she's certainly playing some of the best tennis of her career right now.
Only one American man was in action on Thursday, No. 8 seed Mardy Fish. Having a great year, Fish kept the momentum going with an easy straight sets win over Malek Jaziri of Tunisia. Fish, who won 46 percent of his return points on Thursday, will need to be equally solid against the serve against his next opponent, Kevin Anderson, a 6'8" South Afircan with a booming serve. New York will certainly be out in full force for Fish's matches, as he appears, along with Andy Roddick, to be one of just two Americans with any sort of real shot at winning our national championship.
In addition to Serena Williams' easy win we wrote about Thursday night, and King's second round triumph, the only other American woman in action was 18 year old Sloane Stephens. Making her first singles appearance at Flushing Meadows, Stephens upended No. 23 seeded Shahar Peer, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4). She'll next face Ana Ivanovic, the No. 16 seed in Round 3.
All in all it was again a good day for the Americans. For fans looking for intensely competitive matches however, Thursday was a tad underwhelming save Juan Carlos Ferrero's five-set marathon win over No. 7 seed Gael Monfils.
For even more U.S. Open updates and commentary, head on over to SB Nation's tennis hub throughout the weekend and into Week 2 of the fourth and final major of the year.