The next time Iga Swiatek takes her best friend Kaja Juvan out for dinner, bagels are unlikely to be on the menu.
The world No 1 and defending US Open champion thrashed Slovakian qualifier Juvan 6-0, 6-1 to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
The pair had been out for a meal in New York just last week, and Swiatek spoke of their enduring friendship on the WTA Tour before the match.
But with friends like Swiatek, who needs enemies? The Pole surrendered just eight points as she raced away with the first set to love in only 33 minutes.
Juvan did at least avoid the dreaded ‘double bagel’, finally getting a game on the board 40 minutes into the match for 3-1 in the second and raising her arms aloft in mock triumph to the acclaim of the Louis Armstrong crowd.
But it was only delaying the inevitable, with Swiatek wrapping up another clinical, statement victory – she beat Rebecca Peterson by the same scoreline in the first round – in well under an hour.
Swiatek was ruthless in victory— (AFP via Getty Images)
“I didn’t like that I was winning with my best friend but I knew I had to be focused and not think about that,” said the 22-year-old.
“It’s like playing your sister. I don’t have many friends and she’s my best friend so that was the toughest, for sure.”
In the first match of the day in Arthur Ashe Stadium, 14th-seeded American Tommy Paul moved into the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the first time, defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-1, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. Paul served up the last of his 15 aces to close out the match
“I felt like I served a lot better, came to the net and played 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 victory over Taylor Townsend.
Muchova, who reached the final of this year’s French Open, equalled her best showing at Flushing Meadows by pushing the serve-and-volleying American off the net and onto the baseline. The 132nd-ranked Townsend won just 23 of 70 baseline points and had 39 unforced errors.
Muchova came into the U.S. Open with a career-high ranking and momentum after reaching the final of this month’s tune-up event in Cincinnati, losing to American Coco Gauff in straight sets. She next faces Xinyu Wang of China, a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 winner over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia.