All of the favorites at the 2013 U.S. Open were in action over the weekend, and unsurprisingly, all advanced in the singles draw.
On the men's side, the Big Four certainly lived up to the hype, as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer each earned straight-sets victories on Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, both of last year's women's finalists, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, won to keep their hopes for a rematch alive. Williams made it look easy in her round of 16 win while Azarenka had to overcome some adversity to escape the third round.
Below we'll break down the most notable results from the first weekend of play at Flushing Meadows.
*All scores and statistics courtesy of USOpen.org.
Serena Williams Avenges Aussie Open Loss to Sloane Stephens, 6-4, 6-1
Defending U.S. Open women's champion Serena Williams made a statement in her straight-sets victory over Sloane Stephens on Day 7 at the U.S. Open.
Will Serena Williams repeat as U.S. Open women's champ in 2013?
In a match that lasted less than an hour and a half, Williams let her dominant serve to the talking as she blasted six aces on her way to winning 84 percent of her first-serve points for the match. Stephens was able to win just 13 points off of Williams' serve and struggled with her own.
The up-and-coming American star won only 57 percent of her first-serve points and only 49 percent of her total service points for the match.
Whether she was using her monster serve to get ahead in the point, schooling the younger Stephens at the net or making the most of her athleticism to force Stephens to hit one more shot, Williams was focused throughout and the final scoreline proves it.
Rafael Nadal Keeps Hard-Court Streak Alive in Win Over Ivan Dodig, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
2010 U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal ran his 2013 hard-court record to 18-0 on Day 6 with a comfortable straight-sets win over Croatia's Ivan Dodig.
Rafa was spectacular in the third-round victory, breaking Dodig's serve four times and hitting nearly twice as many winners as his opponent (37-19). Although Nadal wasn't quite as dominant in the return game, he let his serve do the heavy lifting, winning 61-of-78 total service points for the match.
The straight-sets win means that Nadal has still only dropped just five sets total in 18 matches on hard courts in 2013.
World No. 1 Outclasses Joao Sousa to Advance to Round of 16, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2
Portuguese challenger Joao Sousa was lucky to win four games against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Day 7 given how focused the men's overall top seed looked from start to finish.
Djokovic set the tone early on, winning the opening set 6-0 in just 28 minutes.
Sousa would settle in a bit over the course of the next two sets, but only managed to prolong the inevitable. He would break Djokovic's serve in the final set, but that was his first and only highlight of the match as the top-ranked Serb sent him packing after a little over an hour and a half.
Defending Men's Champ Andy Murray Cruises Past Florian Mayer, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2
Which member of the Big Four was most impressive over the weekend?
Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray appeared to be in for a dogfight during the first set of his third-round matchup against Germany's Florian Mayer on Day 7, as both players held serve through the first 12 games to force an early tiebreaker.
But it was all Murray in the extra session, and soon after taking a one-set-to-love lead Murray went on to cruise, dropping just four total games the rest of the way to book a spot in the round of 16 for the third straight year.
The defending U.S. Open men's champion looked sharp in the straight-sets win, recording seven aces and 42 winners in all.
Mayer had no answers for Murray's serve and failed to capitalize on his two break-point chances.
Victoria Azarenka Battles Back to Defeat Alize Cornet in Three Sets, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2
Last year's U.S. Open women's runner-up, Victoria Azarenka showed tremendous poise on Day 6, battling back from a one-set hole to beat Alize Cornet of France.
Azarenka got into trouble early in the first-set tiebreaker and never recovered, dropping the opening set to fall into a one set to love hole for the first time in the tournament.
But it wouldn't take long for the world No. 2 to right the ship as she jumped on Cornet in the second set, breaking her to get ahead and eventually level the match. In the third and deciding set, Azarenka was even more focused, losing just four service points and winning 50 percent of her receiving points to close out the Frenchwoman.
Roger Federer Routs Adrian Mannarino in Prime Time, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2
Determined to make up for his second-round upset loss at Wimbledon earlier this summer, five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer has been on fire through the first week of play at Flushing Meadows. He is through to the round of 16 after blasting Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in prime time at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Day 6.
None of the sets lasted more than a half an hour, and the second set, which saw Fed win 27-of-38 total points, lasted just 22 minutes.
Like Djokovic and Nadal, Federer, who recorded eight aces and 34 winners against Mannarino, still has yet to drop a set at this year's U.S. Open.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.