Venus overcomes Dushevina challenge

Venus overcomes Dushevina challenge

Venus overcomes Dushevina challenge

The No 3-seeded Williams, a two-time US Open champion, had her left knee bandaged by a trainer after the third game. The American also had plenty of trouble serving, piling up 10 double-faults along with her foot-faults on Monday.

“I had a challenge on my hands today. But I wanted to win,” said Williams, who made 54 unforced errors. “Each good shot, and each not-so-good shot, I put behind me and looked forward to the next one.”

Afterward, Williams wouldn’t discuss her knee problem in any detail. Dushevina broke for a 3-1 lead in the second set and was three points from winning at 5-4. But Williams, who has never lost in the US Open’s first round, won the next seven games. Up 4-0 in the third set, Williams dropped three games in a row before righting herself once again.

Williams owns seven Grand Slam titles, while Dushevina has only once been as far as the fourth round at a major tournament. Williams’ match served as the most intriguing encounter of a Day 1 that included victories for defending champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams, Venus’ younger sister, and for 2003 champion Andy Roddick of the United States.

Taking to the court after 11 pm local time because his match followed Williams-Dushevina, Roddick easily advanced with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over 84th-ranked Bjorn Phau of Germany. Roddick pounded serves at up to 145 mph (233 kph), put 81 percent of his first serves in and collected 13 aces in a match that finished at 12.45 am on Tuesday.

Former world No 1 Kim Clijsters, who recently came out of retirement, won her first match at the US Open since claiming her lone Grand Slam title at New York in 2005. Clijsters received a warm welcome from the Flushing Meadows crowd as she marked her return with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over 79th-ranked Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine.
Andre Agassi came back to the site of the final match of his career in 2006, but not to play. He participated in an opening-night ceremony.

By beating 18-year-old American Devin Britton 6-1, 6-3, 7-5, defending champion Federer ran his winning streak to 35 matches at the tournament and became the first tennis player to surpass USD 50 million in career prize money.

Other men’s winners included American John Isner, who knocked off No 28-seeded Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-1, 7-6 (14), 7-6 (5); No 21 James Blake of the United States; former No 1 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and French Open runner-up Robin Soderling of Sweden.

Serena Williams beat an American teenager in straight sets, eliminating Alexa Glatch 6-4, 6-1. Two-time Major champion Amelie Mauresmo of France won easily, as did No 7 Vera Zvonarev of Russia and No 8 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, Italian No 10 Flavia Pennetta, No 12 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and No 14 Marion Bartoli, whose next opponent is Clijsters. France’s Bartoli, the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up, was also the first woman Clijsters played in her comeback. Clijsters beat her.