Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza notched up her first ever victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium with a 6-0, 6-3 win over American Varvara Lepchenko at the US Open on Monday, while two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova scraped into the second round by beating former World No 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 7-5, 7-5.
Despite winning two Grand Slam titles, Muguruza has never felt at home at Flushing Meadows as she has never advanced past the third round in US Open.
“I have been here so many times and I’ve never done very well,” said the Spaniard.
”I give everything I have on the court.
“She started a little nervous and I started well. Then it got more equal and became a good fight.”
Lepchenko struggled with her accuracy on the partly-cloudy morning, committing 22 unforced errors to Muguruza’s 11.
The 23-year-old Muguruza was aggressive throughout, frequently coming to the net and using her powerful ground strokes to push Lepchenko into awkward court positions.
Muguruza will next face either American Claire Liu or Duan Ying-ying of China.
The Czech 13th seed Kvitova, in search of top form after a mediocre build-up to the year’s final Grand Slam, struggled to adapt to Jankovic’s counter-punching style but eventually wore down the 2008 runner-up to set up a meeting with France’s Alize Cornet.
Kvitova, who returned to competition in May five months after being stabbed in her hand by an intruder at her home, won a first set that featured three breaks of serve as both players struggled to find their range in Louis Armstrong Stadium.
She rallied back from 2-0 down in the second set but dropped serve again in the seventh game. However, Kvitova regained her composure to win four consecutive games and secured the win on her first match point with a sizzling forehand winner down the line.
Other matches involving seeded players to finish quickly on Monday's opening day included No 18 Caroline Garcia of France defeating Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-1, and 31st-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia defeating Italian Camila Giorgi 6-3, 6-4.
Other completed matches on the opening day of the tournament included American wild card Sofia Kenin defeating 32nd-seeded American Lauren Davis 7-5, 7-5. Alize Cornet of France defeated Brit Heather Watson 6-4, 6-4. Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic beat Japan's Misa Eguchi 6-2, 6-2 and American Sachia Vickery defeated Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
On the men's side, 12th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta defeated American Evan King 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (5). Kyle Edmund of Great Britain defeated Dutch No 32 Robin Haase 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 and British qualifier Cameron Norrie defeated Dmitry Tursunov of Russia, who retired after dropping the first two sets 7-6 (7), 6-1.
With inputs from Reuters
Published Date: Aug 28, 2017 11:19 pm | Updated Date: Aug 28, 2017 11:27 pm