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Serena Williams beats Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4, 6-0

Serena Williams hits a backhand return against Ekatarina

Serena Williams hits a backhand return against Ekatarina Makarova during their match during Day 6 of the U.S. Open. (Sept. 1, 2012) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

When Serena Williams lost to Ekaterina Makarova at the Australian Open back in January, she wouldn't look at the video.

When she lost to Virginie Razzano in the first round of the French Open, she couldn't look at pictures of the match.

This losing thing doesn't sit well with her.

She evened her record with Makarova Saturday, beating her, 6-4, 6-0, at piping hot Arthur Ashe Stadium to advance to the final 16 of the U.S. Open. She did it with a little advice from her father, but she wasn't going to the videotape.

"Definitely was motivated, knowing that I lost," Williams said. "I really hate watching matches that I lose unless I'm punishing myself. I didn't punish myself."

Do you ever watch matches that you lose?

"I used to," she said. "It was so painful. It was like stabbing myself. I have tried either not to lose or not to watch matches that I lose."

Makarova made a test of it in the first set, hanging in on the long points whenever she could return Williams' serve, her most effective weapon with a total of eight aces. But when Williams broke Makarova's serve in the 10th game to take the first set, the heat of Williams' game and the heat at Ashe Stadium (during the next match, the index was reported at 104) were too much for Makarova.

The heat was just fine for Williams, who lives in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"It was definitely really hot," she said. "I didn't expect it to be that hot. Last time I played her, it was even more hot, so that was fine. I'm good in the heat. I prefer the heat."

Since her loss to Razzano, this has been a very hot summer for Williams. She won her next event, Wimbledon, beating Agnieszka Radwanska in the final. From there, she won the tournament at Stanford, then returned to Wimbledon for the Olympics, winning the gold in singles by beating Maria Sharapova, and teaming for the gold in doubles with sister Venus.

"It's been extremely fun. I've really appreciated the past few months. Really, the past year has been amazing," said Williams, who returned to the tour in the event before Wimbledon last year after nearly a year off coping with a serious foot gash in a bar in Germany and then a pulmonary embolism and a hematoma in February 2011.

After losing in the third round at Wimbledon last year, things got good fast. "Pretty much did really well since then, really consistent, and came back from 170-something to back being top five. So it's been a really great, fabulous time for me."

But don't ask her to look at any of her losses, especially the one to Razzano. She couldn't even stand to look at pictures of the dress she was wearing.

"I threw them all away, actually," she said with a great deal of satisfaction.

Stephens loses to Ivanovic

American Sloane Stephens, who has a burgeoning friendship with Williams, lost to No. 12 seed Ana Ivanovic, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2, in the first match at Ashe Stadium Saturday night. Stephens hung tough to earn the first-set tiebreak win, had her chances in the second, but double faults and Ivanovic's penetrating forehand were the difference in the third.

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