Kvitova shocked by Dulgheru

Sharapova overcomes scare; Federer has it easy against Giraldo

Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania can’t hide her delight after beating Petra Kvitova in the first round. AFP

Federer was more worried about the playing surface than his opponent as he breezed past Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Gael Monfils, Mardy Fish and Thomas Berdych also won in straight sets on a comfortable day for the big names in the men’s draw. Serbia’s Viktor Troicki was the only seeded player to lose.

Vera Zvonareva and Sharapova both progressed, as did Marion Bartoli and Sam Stosur, while Kvitova departed.

Federer joined Andre Agassi on 224 victorious singles matches at Grand Slam tournaments, putting them equal second, nine behind Jimmy Connor’s record total. Federer will next play Israel’s Dudi Sela.

However, the third-seeded Swiss showed he was still eager for more challenges, complaining that organisers had made the courts too slow and too similar to those of the Australian Open, not providing enough variety for Federer’s liking.

Sharapova, shrieking as loudly as ever, came from a set and a break down against 19-year-old Heather Watson of Britain to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, improving to 12-0 this year in three-setters. Her second-round opponent will be Bulgaria’s Anastasiya Yakimova.

Sharapova will be eager to go one better than she did at Wimbledon, where she lost in the final to Kvitova. Fresh off that triumph, Kvitova, the 21-year-old from the Czech Republic seeded fifth in Flushing Meadows, failed to follow it up, flopping with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 loss to 48th-ranked Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania.

The seeded men’s casualty Troicki lost 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 against Alejandro Falla of Colombia. Seventh-seeded Monfils beat Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-4 to set up a meeting with former world number one Juan-Carlos Ferrero.

Fish, seeded eighth, beat Tobias Kamke of Germany, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 and in the second round will face Malek Jaziri, who became the first Tunisian to win a singles match at a Grand Slam tournament. Ninth-seeded Berdych downed Romain Jouan of France 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 and his next opponent will be Italian Fabio Fognini.

In the women’s draw, former champion Venus Williams played her first match in two months and beat 91st-ranked Vesna Dolonts of Russia 6-4, 6-3. Williams hit six aces and 28 total winners against the weary Dolonts, who spent 12 hours travelling from Moscow on Monday after having flights cancelled on Saturday and Sunday because of Tropical Storm Irene.

Zvonareva had little trouble dispatching Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France 6-3, 6-0 to set up a second-round meeting with Kateryna Bondarenko, who won by an idential scoreline against Lucie Hradecka.

Bartoli had more of a struggle before beating Alexandra Panova of Russia 7-5, 6-3 and her next assignment will be American teen Christina McHale.

Former French Open finalist Stosur defeated Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden, 6-2, 6-3.


First round, prefix number denote seedings):
Men: 3-Roger Federer (Swi) bt Santiago Giraldo (Col) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2; Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spa) bt Pablo Andujar (Spa) 1-6, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3; 7-Gael Monfils (Fra) bt Grigor Dimitrov (Bul) 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-4; Dudi Sela (Isr) bt Thomaz Bellucci (Bra) 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0; Alejandro Falla (Col) bt 15-Viktor Troicki (Ser) 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5; Malek Jaziri (Tun) bt Thiemo de Bakker (Ned) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2; Tommy Haas (Ger) bt Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy (Fra) 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1; 23-Radek Stepanek (Czech) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger) 6-4, 6-1, 6-3; 29-Michael Llodra (Fra) bt Victor Hanescu (Rom) 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Bernard Tomic (Aus) bt Michael Yani (US) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; 13-Richard Gasquet (Fra) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr) 6-4, 6-4, 6-0; 8-Mardy Fish (US) bt Tobias Kamke (Ger) 6-2, 6-2, 6-1; Fabio Fognini (Ita) bt Horacio Zeballos (Arg) 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-4; 9-Tomas Berdych (Czech) bt Romain Jouan (Fra) 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-1; 27-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Ryan Harrison (US) 6-2, 7-5, 7-6(6); 31-Marcel Granollers (Spa) bt Xavier Malisse (Bel) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4; 22-Alexandr Dolgopolov (Ukr) bt Frederico Gil (Por) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5; 20-Janko Tipsarevic (Ser) bt Augustin Gensse (Fra) 6-2, 7-5, 6-0.   
Women: Venus Williams (US) bt Vesna Dolonts (Rus) 6-4, 6-3; Christina McHale (US) bt Aleksandra Wozniak (Can) 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4; Polona Hercog (Slo) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (US) 6-1, 6-3; Alla Kudryavtseva (Rus) bt Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) 7-6(1), 7-5; 9-Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Sofia Arvidsson (Swe) 6-2, 6-3; 24-Nadia Petrova (Rus) bt Chan Yung-Jan (Tai) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4; 12-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) bt Urszula Radwanska (Pol) 6-2, 6-3; 8-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Alexandra Panova (Rus) 7-5, 6-3; 25-Maria Kirilenko (Rus) bt Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(3); 30-Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spa) bt Karin Knapp (Ita) 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3; 14-Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) bt Zhang Shuai (Chn) 6-3, 6-4; 3-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Heather Watson (Bri) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3; Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) bt Virginie Razzano (Fra) 6-2, 6-3; Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukr) bt Lucie Hradecka (Czech) 6-3, 6-0; 2-Vera Zvonareva (Rus) bt Stephanie Foretz Gacon (Fra) 6-3, 6-0; 13-Peng Shuai (Chn) bt Varvara Lepchenko (US) 6-3, 6-4; Madison Keys (US) bt Jill Craybas (US) 6-2, 6-4; Alexandra Dulgheru (Rom) bt 5-Petra Kvitova (Czech) 7-6(3), 6-3; 27-Lucie Safarova (Czech) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; 19-Julia Goerges (Ger) bt Kristina Barrois (Ger) 6-3, 6-2.

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