Flushing Meadows, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska opened her US Open campaign on a winning note, dispatching Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, 6-1, 6-3, in just 63 minutes Monday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“The first match is always tough and it takes some time to get used to the conditions,” Radwanska said in her on-court interview. “I’m just very happy that I could play my best tennis and get a win on Ashe on the first day”.
Radwanska slipped behind, 2-0, in the second set but immediately bounced back en route to victory.
“Today was really windy and it made it difficult when we changed sides. But I think I used the wind well today and I’m pleased I could close it out in straight sets,” she said.
Also easing into the second round was fifth seed Li Na, who was similarly impressive in her 6-2, 6-2 victory over Olga Govortsova. Li hit 28 winners and 13 unforced errors to finish the match in one hour and four minutes.
“The first match at a major is always a tough match because you never know what will happen on the court. It’s just important to get the win,” Li said.
Li’s possible third-round opponent, 30th seed Laura Robson, ousted Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 7-5, 6-0.
Two-time US Open champion Venus Williams also advanced to the next round with a 6-1, 6-2 upset victory over 12th seed Kirsten Flipkens.
Williams looked sharp in the early stages of the match, hammering eight winners to race to a 4-0 lead in 15 minutes. She awaits the winner of the first-round match between Kiki Bertens of Netherlands and Zheng Jie of China.
Also advancing in the women’s event were Sabine Lisicki, Caroline Garcia, Coco Vandeweghe, Jamie Hampton, Yaroslava Shvedova, Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, Kaia Kanepi, Carla Suarez Navarro and Sofia Arvidsson.
On the men’s side, British qualifier and No. 179 Daniel Evans recorded a huge upset when he ousted 11th seeded Kei Nishikori, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, in his Flushing Meadows debut.
Evans advanced to the second round where he will take on Australian Bernard Tomic, who defeated Albert Ramos of Spain, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 3-6.
Other winners were Guillaume Rufin, Bradley Klahn, Stephane Robert, Dmitry Tursunov, Feliciano Lopez and Richard Gasquet.
Meanwhile, James Blake announced that he will hang up his racket for good after the US Open.
“I have had 14 pretty darn good years on tour, loved every minute of it, and I definitely couldn’t have asked for a better career,” said a teary-eyed Blake, who reached No. 4 in his career.
“For me to think of matches I should have won and to make those as regrets for me has always just seemed greedy. I did the best I could in every situation,” he added.
Known for his power, speed and his amazing forehand, Blake won 10 singles and seven doubles titles on the ATP World Tour, as well as the 2007 Davis Cup title with the United States.