New York: Seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova needed nearly two hours to win her first match of the US Open here on Tuesday. The 2011 Wimbledon champion beat 92nd-ranked Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Kvitova has never made it past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
Two years ago, Kvitova became the first reigning Wimbledon women’s champion to lose in the first round of the US Open in the same season.
On a windy day at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday, the Czech star was in danger of another early exit when she made 15 unforced errors in the second set. Thirteenth seed Ana Ivanovic and 14th-seed Maria Kirilenko got off to quick starts, each winning in under an hour. Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, beat Anna Tatishvili 6-2, 6-0. Kirilenko won 6-1, 6-1 against Yanina Wickmayer, a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows four years ago.
Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki reeled off five consecutive games to dig herself out of a hole and safely reach the second round.
With her boyfriend Rory McIlroy watching from the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Wozniacki was forced to work overtime to beat Chinese qualifier Duan Yingying 6-2, 7-5.
Wozniacki seemed to be in cruise control after she raced through the opening set in just 35 minutes but the Danish sixth seed soon found herself in trouble, trailing 5-2 in the second.
But she regained control and won the next five games to seal victory and avoid a repeat of her first-round exit from Flushing Meadows a year ago.
Earlier on Monday, Serena reminded everyone why she remains the overwhelming favourite to win the women’s title as she demolished Italy’s Francesca Schiavone 6-0, 6-1. The American showed no mercy against her opponent, who won the French Open in 2010 and was a finalist in Paris the following year, conceding just 23 points in the 60-minute romp.
China’s Li Na, the 2011 French Open champion and runner-up in Australia this year, needed just 64 minutes to crush Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2, 6-2. Rafael Nadal made an ominous return to the US Open. Nadal, who missed last year’s US Open because of a chronic knee problem, demonstrated his intentions to make up for lost time as he demolished American wildcard Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 during the day session.
Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer, a semi-finalist in 2007 and 2012, defeated teenage Australian qualifier Nick Kyrgios, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.