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Stosur shines on rain-hit day

NEW YORK, August 27, 2012, Reuters: 0:33 IST

Tennis US Open:Australian sees off Croatian Martic in straight sets; Hradecka blanks Anabel

Play was suspended on the opening day of the US Open on Monday when rain showers swept through the National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows.

Defending champion and seventh seed Sam Stosur of Australia was one of the few players to reach the second round before the rain came as she crushed Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1.

Stosur won the first 19 points against the world number 64 and hit 10 aces as she cruised to victory in just 51 minutes.

Stosur lost in the first round of the Australian Open and the Olympics and was beaten in round two at Wimbledon. But the 28-year-old showed no signs of nerves and now plays Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland or Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania.

The showers arrived and halted play on all of the courts as fans raced for cover. Scattered showers are forecast throughout the day.

Among those scheduled to play later on Monday were five-time champion and world number one Roger Federer, three-time winner Kim Clijsters and 2006 champion Maria Sharapova. In other matches completed, Czech Lucie Hradecka defeated Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-3, Casey Dellacqua of Australia beat Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-2 6-3, and Anna Tatishvili of Georgia eased past France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-2, 6-0.

Hopeful Clijsters

It would be a fairytale ending to a glittering career and Kim Clijsters believes she can do it.

“My goal is to try and win the US Open,” the Belgian said. “I've trained hard. I'm in maybe the best shape that I have been in. I'm not worried physically that I'm not ready to do it.”

At the age of 29 and having announced her impending retirement several months ago, Clijsters has been on a farewell tour this year, though injuries have restricted her to six tournaments. When she made her comeback after her first retirement, in 2009, Clijsters won the US Open before going on to win a third Flushing Meadows title in 2010 and the Australian Open title in 2011.

Clijsters will be playing in all three events in New York, including the mixed doubles with America's Bob Bryan but is not worried about the effects on her body. “My mindset is not any different,” she said. “I haven't played many matches or many tournaments. I really believe that physically I can do it.”

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