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Federer, Henin roll into second round
August 28, 2007 09:42 IST
Federer, bidding for his fourth successive Open title, blew away American Scoville Jenkins 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, while Henin ousted wide-eyed German Julia Goerges 6-0, 6-3 in 62 minutes.
There were no major upsets on the opening day of the year's final Grand Slam, played on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.
Venus Williams fired a Grand Slam record-tying 129 mph serve en route to an easy 6-2, 6-1 victory over Hungarian qualifier Kira Nagy, while her sister Serena had a tougher time but prevailed over Angelique Kerber of Germany [Images], 6-3, 7-5.
Top-ranked Federer landed just 60 percent of his first serves and had only a 25-24 edge in winners. But the Swiss was remarkably consistent, committing only 12 unforced errors in the 92-minute match compared to 31 for Jenkins.
"I thought it was a good match, a tough match," said Federer, who, despite his analysis, dominated from the opening point. "I didn't allow my opponent many chances on my serve.
"Unfortunately for him he double faulted quite a bit on break points, which obviously helped. From the baseline, he was tough. He was kind of controlling play.
"So I was just trying to keep the ball in play."
Jenkins, a qualifier, said playing the 26-year-old Federer was "mentally frustrating".
"He just plays you, trying to make you play your worst and he plays his best," the Atlanta native said. "He matches up his strength to your weakness unbelievably."
Henin, a six-times Grand Slam winner and 2003 Open champion, landed only 44 percent of her first serves but she was never broken by her 18-year-old opponent.
The Belgian admitted "there wasn't a lot of rhythm" in the match, mostly due to Goerges's 32 unforced errors.
Henin, 25, continues to nurse a "scary" shoulder injury while trying to win the "most difficult" of the majors.
"It's not my favourite grand slam," she admitted. "It's so, so different. It takes a lot of energy."
Goerges was delighted to play the world's top-ranked player in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"It was a great atmosphere even though I wasn't able to play my best tennis, especially in the first set," she conceded. "Still, it was fun."
Third seed Jelena Jankovic struggled to find her rhythm during a 6-2 7-6 triumph over Jarmila Gajdosova of Slovakia.
"Today I was really nervous, for some reason," said the Serbian, a semi-finalist in 2006. "I was not that comfortable. I wasn't playing well, was struggling out there.
"But it's always good to have some competition in the first rounds so you kind of wake up and you're ready for the next ones."
Women's 1st Round:
Men's 1st round:
Fernando Verdasco (Spain) beat 22-Paul-Henri Mathieu (France) 3-6 1-6 6-4 6-3 6-3