US Open: Kvitova flops but Sharapova, Federer move on

Venus advances to 2nd round after opening day of Grand Slam.

Afp August 30, 2011

NEW YORK: Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova crumbled in the first round of the US Open but Maria Sharapova showed her championship mettle with a battling victory.

The world number seven tumbled out at the hands of unheralded Alexandra Dulgheru while Sharapova, managed a three-set win over British teenager Heather Watson.

Kvitova, seeded fifth, made 52 unforced errors in a 7-6, 6-3 defeat to 48th-ranked Dulgheru.

Meanwhile, Sharapova battled from a set down to beat Watson 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

But it was another post-Wimbledon disappointment for Kvitova, the Czech who has been unable to build on her Grand Slam breakthrough.

“It’s something new for me,” she said.”Everything is in the head. If you’re thinking negatively it’s bad.”

Meanwhile, Sharapova made 58 unforced errors, but notched 41 winners.

“The best thing about this match is I gave myself a chance to play another one,” said Sharapova.

Third-seed Federer  advances

Meanwhile, Roger Federer secured a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Colombian Santiago Giraldo. While he was not at his sharpest initially, the outcome was never in doubt against the 54th-ranked Giraldo.

“I do not care how I do it,” said Federer. “It does not need to be pretty. I don’t think I’ve ever played my very, very best in the first round.”

Fish opens action at Arthur Ashe stadium

Earlier, Mardy Fish, playing his first Grand Slam as the top-ranked American, opened the action at the Arthur Ashe stadium, where he beat Germany’s Tobias Kamke 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.

Fish next faces Malek Jaziri, a qualifier who became the first Tunisian to win a Grand Slam match when he beat Dutchman Thimeo de Bakker 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Colombian Alejandro Falla survived three match points to topple 15th-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Unseeded Venus through

Venus Williams, who is unseeded after a season spent on the sidelines, advanced with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Russian Vesna Dolonts.

Williams, winner of back-to-back US Opens in 2000 and 2001, was playing her first match since Wimbledon.

“It’s always nerve-wracking to play the first match after a layoff,” said Williams. “But I just tried to rely on experience and to get after it.”

Second-seed Vera Zvonareva, eighth-seed Marion Bartoli of France and ninth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur also moved to the second round.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st,  2011.


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