Favourites sail into round two on rain-hit day

Tennis US Open: Federer, Murray, Azarenka progress

Andy Murray's serve was anything but golden on the opening day of the US Open but the Olympic champion still had too much firepower for Alex Bogomolov Jr and led a parade of favourites into the second round on Monday.

The top guns had little trouble making it through their first-round encounters, with world number one Roger Federer, three-times champion Kim Clijsters, and top-seeded Victoria Azarenka hardly breaking sweat.

Murray was at his best when it mattered most, recording a service break in a healthy nine of 19 chances against the 29-year-old Russian to win 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours, 15 minutes.

However, the Scotsman, who beat Roger Federer to win the gold medal at the London Games in what he called his best career victory, successfully landed only 49 percent of his first serves in humid, windy conditions against Bogomolov.
"I played fairly well from the back of the court. I just would have liked to have served a bit better because I wasn't getting many free points on my serve," said Murray, looking for his first Grand Slam title.

Federer, seeking his sixth title at Flushing Meadows, dismantled American Donald Young 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 while Clijsters overwhelmed American teenager Victoria Duval 6-3, 6-1.
Not to be outdone, Azarenka, seeking her second major title after winning this year's Australian Open, blew past Russian Alexandra Panova 6-0, 6-1 in just 50 minutes. While 2006 US Open winner Maria Sharapova blew by Hungary's Melinda Czink 6-2, 6-2.

Federer landed 70 percent of his first serves and had seven aces to defeat Young, a former junior champion who snapped a 16-match losing streak in an ATP event in Winston-Salem last week. "It was good considering I played a very talented player who I didn't know much about and never played against," said Federer. "First round of the US
Open can always bring a lot of pressure with it. It was very windy out there and extremely humid. I'm just happy I was able to weather the conditions and a dangerous opponent. Overall I'm extremely happy."

Clijsters, who will retire after the tournament, said she was not scared that her match against Duval under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium could be her last. "I didn't really think about that," said the 29-year-old Belgian. "I was just excited to be out there and to have the opportunity to play in this kind of condition, prime time.

"A night match, it's always a very special occasion. The energy, when you step out on court also after the opening show, the stadium was almost full. So it was a lot of fun to go out there. But still a bit nervous, too."

Shortly after the 28-year-old Stosur left the court, fans scrambled for cover as heavy rain pelted the National Tennis Center grounds at Flushing Meadows. 

The rain caused a two and a half hour delay and threatened to wreak havoc on the schedule but the sun reappeared to create steamy conditions and play resumed. Third seed Sharapova enjoyed a 24-8 advantage in winners and lost her serve to Czink only once in swirling wind to set up a second-round match against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain. Defending champion Samantha Stosur beat Croatia's Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1.

Somdev ousted

Somdev Devvarman put up a spirited fight before losing in the first round of the US Open to Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain. The Indian lost the opening clash in the men’s singles 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 4-6 to his Spanish rival, ranked 94.

US Open results (first round)

Prefix denotes seeding:  Men: Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (Esp) bt Somdev Devvarman (Ind) 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; 12-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Marinko Matosevic (Aus) 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4; 16-Gilles Simon (Fra) bt Michael Russell (US) 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1; Juergen Zopp (Est) bt Denis Istomin (Uzb) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5; 30-Feliciano Lopez (Esp) bt Robin Haase (Ned) 6-3, 7-5, 6-2; 1-Roger Federer (Sui) bt Donald Young (US) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4; 23-Mardy Fish (US) bt Go Soeda (Jpn) 7-6(3), 7-6(2), 6-3; 25-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) bt Rui Machado (Por) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) bt Igor Andreev (Rus) 2-6, 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(4), 6-1; 32-Jeremy Chardy (Fra) bt Filippo Volandri (Ita) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) bt Guido Pella (Arg) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; Ivan Dodig (Cro) bt Hiroki Moriya (Jpn) 6-0, 6-1, 6-2; 24-Marcel Granollers (Esp) bt Denis Kudla (US) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); Jack Sock (US) bt 22-Florian Mayer (Ger) 6-3, 6-2, 3-2 (retd); 3-Andy Murray (Gbr) bt Alex Bogomolov Jr (Rus) 6-2, 6-4, 6-1; James Blake (US) bt Lukas Lacko (Svk) 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; 17-Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Guido Andreozzi (Arg) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.           

Women: 17-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) bt Daniela Hantuchova (Svk) 6-4, 7-6 (7-1); 1-Victoria Azarenka (Blr) bt Alexandra Panova (Rus) 6-0, 6-1; 28-Zheng Jie (Chn) bt Virginie Razzano (Fra) 4-6, 6-2, 0-0 (retd); 23-Kim Clijsters (Bel) bt Victoria Duval (US) 6-3, 6-1; Anastasia Rodionova (Aus) bt Julia Cohen (US) 6-3, 6-0; 25-Yanina Wickmayer (Bel) bt Julia Glushko (Isr) 7-5, 6-2; 5-Petra Kvitova (Cze) bt Polona Hercog (Slv) 7-6 (8-6), 6-1; 3-Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Melinda Czink (Hun) 6-2, 6-2; 31-Varvara Lepchenko (US) bt Mathilde Johansson (Fra) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; 15-Lucie Safarova (Cze) bt Melanie Oudin (US) 6-4, 6-0; Romina Oprandi (Sui) bt Andrea Petkovic (Ger) 6-2, 7-5; Aleksandra Wozniak (Can) bt Alexandra Cadantu (Rom) 6-0, 6-3; 19-Nadia Petrova (Rus) bt Jarmila Gajdosova (Aus) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3); Sorana Cirstea (Rom) bt 16-Sabine Lisicki (Ger) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2; Kristyna Pliskova (Cze) bt 18-Julia Goerges (Ger) 7-6(4), 6-1; 11-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Jamie Hampton (US) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); 9-Li Na (Chn) bt Heather Watson (Gbr) 6-2, 6-3; 7-Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Petra Martic (Cro) 6-1, 6-1.

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