Federer, Venus roll on, Kvitova out in US Open
Updated: 2011-08-30 15:39
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a forehand to Santiago Giraldo of Colombia during their match at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Aug 29, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
Roger Federer, seeded third, won his opening match on Monday night, defeating Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
It was the first Grand Slam match for the Swiss since he turned 30 earlier this month.
Playing her first match in two months, 31-year-old Williams, two-time champion in 2000 and 2001, powered through her Russian opponent Vera Dolonts, whose arrival at the season's final Grand Slam tournament was delayed until a few hours before the first-round match by visa and weather problems, to a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova crashed out of the US Open first round, bowing to Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru, ranked 48th on the WTA Tour, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Federer, who won five straight US Open titles from 2004-08 and holds the men's record with 16 Grand Slam singles championships, has won at least one major event every year since 2003, though none so far in 2011.
Dolonts said in a televised pre-match interview that she only received a visa three days ago and then had a flight into New York canceled by Hurricane Irene.
Venus Williams of the US, wearing a lace-backed tennis dress, hits a return to Vesna Dolonts of Russia during their match at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Aug 29, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
Williams, ranked 36th on the WTA Tour, is unseeded at the tournament for the first time since 1997 and hadn't played since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon. She was sidelined for several weeks by illness.
"I just want to play tennis," Williams said in a news conference. "It doesn't matter what the tournament is. Obviously the Open is huge, but I just want to play."
Former champion Maria Sharapova needed three sets to advance to the second round.
Mardy Fish, No 8 and the top-seeded American player, won in straight sets over Germany's Tobias Kamke in 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.
Sharapova, the No 3 seed who won in 2006, beat Heather Watson, a 19-year-old Briton, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a 2-hour, 34-minute match.
"The goal sometimes on days like this is just to get through it," Sharapova, who is 12-0 in three-set matches this year, said. "I hung in there. She played great and all I can do is improve for the next one."
Fish played in the opening match on the Ashe Stadium court without delay after one-day shutdown over tropical storm Irene in New York, hitting 28 winners compared with 10 for Kamke.
"It's probably pretty easy to say this is one of the biggest tournaments I've ever played," Fish, who next will face qualifier Malek Jaziri of Tunisia, said at a news conference. "I've never come into a Grand Slam ranked higher."
Croatia's Marin Cilic topped American wild card Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) on the Armstrong court.
Seeds Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra of France, Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine and Marcel Granollers of Spain advanced.
No 15 Viktor Troicki of Serbia lost in five sets to Alejandro Falla of Colombia.
13th seed Richard Gasquet thumped Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.
Serbian Janko Tipsarevic overcame France's Augustin Gensse 6-2, 7-5, 6-0 and Radek Stepanek beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
Women's second seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia reached the second round. So did seeds Marion Bartoli of France, Samantha Stosur of Australia, Peng Shuai of China, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, Julia Goerges of Germany and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.
Zvonareva romped past Franch qualifier Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-3, 6-0.
12th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland upset her younger sister Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-3.
Stosur, ninth seed, took just an hour to dispatch Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson in 6-2, 6-3.
Peng Shuai, seeded 13, also advanced in straight sets of 6-3, 6-4 over US player Varvara Lepchenko.
2010 US Open quarterfinalist Cibulkova, 14th seed, beat China's Zhang Shuai also in 6-3, 6-4.
24th-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia edged off Yung-Jan Chan of Chinese Taipei in 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, while 25th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia managed to defeat her compatriot Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3).
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