By Julian Linden NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic sent an ominous warning to his rivals about his plans to complete one of the most dominant years in professional tennis by winning the U.S. Open.
The Serbian, at the top of his powers and at ease with the world after winning two grand slam titles already this season, produced a masterful display at Flushing Meadows on Thursday to defeat Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-0 6-0 6-2 and sail into the third round.
It was as one-sided as the scoreline suggested, with Djokovic completely overwhelming his opponent with power and accuracy. One spectator at the Arthur Ashe Stadium asked the Serbian for his money back.
Berlocq could only smile and play along, helpless to stop the hottest player in the world. When he finally won a game in the third set, he raised his arms as though he had won the championship final.
The crowd roared their approval, disappointed they did not see a real contest but consoled by the fact they saw a near-flawless display.
"I tell you, as a tennis player, as any athlete, when you're playing perfectly, everything seems so good," Djokovic said.
"You're so happy because that's exactly where you want your game to be, at the top, at the highest possible level."
Roger Federer and Serena Williams had earlier swept into the third round with the same sort of ruthless performances that made them the king and queen of tennis.
Federer, already a five-time champion on the hardcourts of New York, demolished Israel's Dudi Sela 6-3 6-2 6-2 in 77 minutes. The Swiss master was untroubled and offered a blunt assessment of the contest.
"When it's like that, obviously it's tough for the opponent," Federer said. "But I just think I was superior today."
Williams was just as unforgiving. She thrashed Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-0 6-1 in less than an hour, racing around like the court like a teenager instead of a 29-year-old on the comeback trail.
"One way to get faster is you can pretend there's a check for a million dollars there tax-free, and just go run it down," she explained.
But Williams, like Federer, is now being hunted by younger rivals. Women's world number one Caroline Wozniacki was also impressive in her second round match against Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.
After a slow start in which she dropped early service games, she ran away with the match 6-2 6-0 in 63 minutes. "I feel like I'm on a roll and I'm playing well," Wozniacki said. "I believe I can beat anyone on a good day. But I have to play on a high level for seven matches, and that's not easy."
There were no major surprises Thursday although four lower seeded players were knocked out.
Michael Llodra of France was beaten and Czech Radek Stepanek retired with an injury, while on the women's side Estonia's Kaia Kanepi and Shahar Peer both fell.
Mardy Fish, one of the few men given any hope of challenging Federer, Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray, sailed through with a clinical 6-2 6-2 6-4 win over Tunisia's Malek Jaziri.
"I haven't really been tested that much," said the eighth-seeded American. "I can't do anything about that. I can't do anything about who I come up against. Just happy to move on."
HEALTH PROBLEMS Victoria Azarenka, the fourth seed from Belarus, also impressed with her 6-4 6-3 win over Argentina's Gisela Dulko and now faces Serena Williams, seeded 28th, in the third round.
Williams spent almost as long in her news conference talking about her sister Venus's health problems than she did on court, but said she had not allowed herself to be distracted.
"It really wasn't that difficult, to be honest. I mean, she wants me to do the best, she wouldn't want me to suffer," Serena said.
"If anything, it should motivate me more." Venus pulled out of the Open Wednesday after revealing she was suffering from Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.
She has ruled out any thoughts of retirement and vowed to continue playing and Serena said she had no doubts she would make it back. "I know she's a fighter and she's really strong. She's great. She's really happy now that she knows what it is after all this time," Serena said.
"If anything, it's going to help her now to treat it and go forward."
(Editing by Ian Ransom)