NEW YORK — Serena Williams does not enjoy viewing videos of her losses. Not one bit.
She used to engage in that sort of film work, Williams said, but “it was so painful; it was like stabbing myself.”
So even though Williams knew her third-round opponent at the U.S. Open would be the same woman she lost to at the Australian Open, preparing by studying a replay of that January defeat simply was out of the question.
Did not seem to matter at all.
After splitting Saturday’s first eight games against 42nd-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, the fourth-seeded Williams got into high gear and breezed to a 6-4, 6-0 victory, reeling off the last eight games in a row.
“Definitely was motivated. Knowing that I lost; could definitely happen again. Did not want that to happen,” said Williams, who hit 13 aces to raise her tour-leading total this season to 408.
“I really hate watching matches that I lose, unless I’m punishing myself,” added the 14-time Grand Slam champion. “I didn’t punish myself.”
She hasn’t been losing much lately.
Since the only first-round Grand Slam exit of her career, against 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano at the French Open on May 29, Williams is 22-1 in singles, including the title at Wimbledon and gold medal at the London Olympics.
No such problems so far in New York, where Williams has dropped only 12 games entering her fourth-round match against 82nd-ranked Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic. Hlavackova, the 2011 French Open doubles champion, cried on court after her 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over 14th-seeded Maria Kirilenko, whose boyfriend, pro hockey star Alex Ovechkin, was in New York to cheer for her.
The woman Williams beat in the Wimbledon final, second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, dealt with the 90-degree heat and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic equally well during a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
Setting aside a disagreement with the chair umpire and a whopping 75 unforced errors, 23rd-seeded Mardy Fish of the United States outlasted a hobbling Gilles Simon of France, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-3, to win a third-round match that ended late Saturday night.
Olympic champion Andy Murray, still seeking his first Grand Slam title after four losses in finals, eked out a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (4) victory over No. 30 Feliciano Lopez.
Roger Federer, Murray’s potential semifinal opponent, dismissed No. 25 Fernando Verdasco, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Other men’s winners included Milos Raonic, who defeated 32-year-old American wild-card entry James Blake, and No. 11 Nicolas Almagro, who ended the run of 19-year-old American Jack Sock.