New York: Women’s top seed Serena Williams doled out a painful US Open lesson to Marat Safin’s kid sister Dinara Wednesday, pummelling the 16-year-old 6-0, 6-1 in 40 minutes.
The world No. 1 showed no mercy to the fledgling sister of men’s 2000 champion. Safina, ranked 91 in the world, had beaten wily Italian Rita Grande in the opening round but Serena — wearing the short-legged, skin-tight, lycra cat-suit that caused a sensation on the opening day — was an altogether different proposition.
Pete Sampras, winner of 13 Grand Slam singles titles, advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 triumph in 93 minutes over Spain’s Albert Portas. Sampras fired ten aces and 33 winners in the match.
Britain’s Greg Rusedski also advanced to the second round defeating American wild card Alex Kim 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3. Fifth seed Tim Henman also got off to a fine start thrashing Finn Tuomas Ketola 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.
There was no sign of the shoulder injury which has been hampering the Wimbledon semi-finalist as he served the qualifier off the court on an overcast day three of the Grand Slam event.
Argentina’s surprise Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian was however ousted in the first round by Armenia’s Sargis Sargsian. Nalbandian lost 1-6, 4-6, 4-6.
Fifth-seeded Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia was eliminated, falling to Elena Bovina of Russia 6-3, 6-2. Dokic, who has won two tournaments this year, has never got past the fourth round here.
Top seeds cruise
On Tuesday, the defending champions cruised into the second round. Venus Williams wasted no time at all demolishing Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic 6-0, 6-0 in a 50-minute whitewash and third seed Jennifer Capriati also won all 12 games of her night match, thrashing fellow American Bethanie Mattek 6-0, 6-0.
Men’s champion and top seed Lleyton Hewitt also looked on a mission as he crushed France's Nicolas Coutelot 6-2, 6-3, 6-3.
Marat Safin mustered all his energy and strained every sinew in a four-and-a-half-hour, five-set war of attrition before clambering past a hobbling Nicolas Kiefer into the second round.
Safin will next face former world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten after the unseeded Brazilian ousted France’s Julien Boutter 3-6, 7-6, 6-1, 6-0.
Ninth seed Martina Hingis also looked far from convincing, nosing tentatively past American Marissa Irvin 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
“In a way I can be happy to still be in this tournament,” said the former world No. 1 who was champion here in 1997
Andy Roddick gave home fans plenty to cheer about. The 11th-seeded American crushed Dutchman Martin Verkerk 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the night match.
Safin made heavy weather of his opening match in hot and humid conditions. After tying up the first set he allowed Kiefer back into the match and was forced to come back from two-sets-to-one down before clinching victory 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 on his fourth match point.
“He fought really hard, played a great match," Safin said. "I am relieved to get through that. You know he used to be ranked number four in the world...he knows how to play tennis.”
Wild card Prakash Amritraj bowed out of the singles when he lost in straight sets to Paradorn Srichaphan 1-6, 3-6, 0-6.
The son of Vijay Amritraj had won a wild card to the last Slam of the year based on his impressive performance in the US college circuit.
Prakash and Stephen Amritraj, son of former Indian star Anand, lost their first-round doubles match. The cousins went down in straights to Czech Republic pair Frantisek Cermak and Ota Fukarek 3-6, 3-6.
The third-seeded doubles pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi advanced into the second round with an easy win. The Indo-Belarusian pair beat Julian Knowle of Austria and Michael Kohlman of Germany in straight sets 6-4, 6-0.
Hewitt, meanwhile, vigorously stoked his row with the organisers of professional men’s tennis by branding the ATP liars. “The ATP people were lying,” said the 21-year-old when asked of his feud with the governing body over a fine imposed earlier this month.