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Serena cruises, Azarenka survives at U.S. Open

Flushing Meadows, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Five-time champion Serena Williams was an easy fourth-round winner Monday at the U.S. Open.

The world No. 1 superstar won her 18th straight match in New York and reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of 2014 with a workmanlike 6-3, 6-3 handling of Estonian slugger Kaia Kanepi in 64 minutes at Ashe Stadium on Labor Day in the United States.

Williams is now 4-0 lifetime against Kanepi, with Monday marking their first meeting since 2009.

The 32-year-old Williams lost in the third round at Wimbledon, second round at the French Open, and fourth round at the Aussie this year.

"I finally made a quarterfinal this year," Williams said after the match on court, raising her arms above her head. "I'm glad to do it in New York."

The 17-time Grand Slam singles champion is now 76-9 lifetime at the U.S. Open, where she beat former world No. 1 and two-time Aussie Open titlist Victoria Azarenka in the last two finals.

Williams' quarterfinal opponent will be 11th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, who opened Monday with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over 29th-seeded Aussie Casey Dellacqua on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"She's such a great mover," Williams said of Pennetta. "She does everything so well and I'm just going to have fun and enjoy every moment out here."

The 32-year-old Pennetta plays her best Grand Slam tennis in New York, where she's reached the quarterfinals now on five occasions, including a surprising run into the semifinals a year ago.

Also on Monday, 17th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova ousted seventh-seeded Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 to reach her second straight U.S. Open quarterfinal.

The 26-year-old left-handed Makarova has quietly reached the quarterfinals at four of the last eight Grand Slams, including two straight at the U.S. Open.

The 20-year-old Bouchard, who was treated for a heat-related illness during the second set on Monday, was July's Wimbledon runner-up and reached the semifinals at the year's first two majors.

Makarova will meet the 16th-seeded Azarenka in the next round. Azarenka survived a scare from Aleksandra Krunic by defeating the Serbian 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The Belarusian battled back to take the second set and was ahead by two games in the third when Krunic answered with wins in two straight to knot it at 2-2. The two went back-and-forth from there until Azarenka finally put the pesky Krunic away to move on.

09/01 22:18:40 ET