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US Open: Federer, Murray, Sharapova sail into 2nd round

Last updated on: August 28, 2012 12:32 IST

US Open: Murray, Federer, Sharapova sail into 2nd round

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Olympic champion Andy Murray looked to build on his recent success by cruising past Alex Bogomolov Jr. and leading a parade of favourites into the second round of the US Open on Monday.

The top guns had little trouble advancing on the rain-interrupted opening day of the year's final Grand Slam, with defending champion Samantha Stosur and 2006 winner Maria Sharapova hardly breaking a sweat.

Murray was at his best when it counted the 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.

But the Scotsman, who beat Roger Federer to win the gold medal at the London Olympics, successfully landed only 49 percent of his first serves 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.

"Because of that, there were a lot more rallies. When he's in a rhythm, he's tough to break down."


Image: Andy Murray returns a shot against Alex Bogomolov Jr during their men's singles first round match of the US Open on Monday
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Federer has it easy against Young

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World No 1 Roger Federer began his quest for a sixth US Open title with a stylish 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over American Donald Young on Monday.

The Wimbledon champion made light of windy conditions at Flushing Meadows to motor through the match in one hour, 34 minutes.

World No 81 Young snapped a 16-match losing streak in the ATP event in Winston-Salem last week but was no match for Federer's class.

The Swiss looked in a hurry to get off the court and reeled off his full array of strokes to set up a second-round encounter with Bjorn Phau of Germany.

Image: Roger Federer returns a shot against Donald Young during his men's singles first round match at the US Open on Monday
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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'First match up, first day, was a good start'

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Stosur needed only 51 minutes to blitz Croatia's Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1 in cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Sharapova blew by Hungary's Melinda Czink, 6-2, 6-2 on the same court.

"It was fantastic," said Stosur, the Australian seventh seed.

"It was great to get out there again. I felt like I was ready to go. First match up, first day, was a good start, so I certainly won't complain about being out there."

Stosur lost in the first round of the Australian Open and the Olympics and was beaten in round two at Wimbledon but her rout of Martic signalled she is not ready to relinquish her US Open crown.

She won the first 19 points of the match before giving Martic a gift and ending thoughts of a so-called golden set.

"I hadn't missed a point and the match had been going pretty quick and obviously in my favor," said Stosur, who blasted 10 aces in the victory. "(The idea of a golden set) did pop into my head for a split second but then I hit the double fault and it was erased and I was quickly on with the next point."

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

Image: Samantha Stosur returns against Petra Martic in the first round of the US Open on Monday
Photographs: Al Bello/Getty Images

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'Overall I played steady, but there's room for improvement'

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The rain caused a two and a half hour delay and threatened to wreak havoc on Monday's schedule but the sun re-appeared to create steamy conditions and play resumed as planned.

Sharapova enjoyed a 24-8 advantage in winners and lost her serve only once in a swirling wind to set up a second-round match against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain.

It marked Sharapova's first match since winning a silver medal at the Olympics earlier this month.

"I was just happy to be back playing a competitive match," she said.

"It's been a few weeks. It was a nice break in a way, but after so many weeks of practising, you're just eager to get back on the court.

"I was happy with the way I came out. Never played my opponent before. A lefty. Conditions weren't exactly perfect. Overall I played steady, but there's room for improvement, that's for sure."

Image: Maria Sharapova serves to Melinda Czink during their women's first round singles match at the US Open on Monday
Photographs: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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'They said I should just probably rest'

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The Russian was forced to miss events in Montreal and Cincinnati earlier this month because of a stomach bug she first felt on the eve of the Olympic final, in which she lost to Serena Williams.

"I had some tests done, some blood-work, some ultrasound stuff," Sharapova said after her win.

"They said I should just probably rest. I just went home and took Cincinnati off as well. I think it was just a sign that I needed a few weeks off.

"It was really weird. They told me I was fine, not pregnant. I'm like, 'Can I get my money back'?"

Image: Maria Sharapova plays a forehand against Melinda Czink during their first round match at the US Open on Monday
Photographs: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

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World No 1 Azarenka storms into Rnd 2

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World No 1 Victoria Azarenka wasted little time in outlining her US Open title credentials on Monday as she scorched to a 6-0, 6-1 first round victory over Russia's Alexandra Panova.

The Belarusian, who won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, was at her very best as she raced through in just 50 minutes.

Azarenka has yet to go beyond the last 16 at the US Open but she outclassed world number 76 Panova with a performance full of power and precision.

The 23-year-old dropped just five points in the first set and maintained her momentum in the second to cruise into round two.

There were no major upsets, with fifth seed Czech Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, overcoming some first-set problems to down Slovenia's Polona Hercog 7-6, 6-1, while 2011 French Open champion Li Na of China beat Britain's Heather Watson 6-2, 6-3.

Italy's Marion Bartoli, a Wimbledon finalist in 2007, defeated American Jamie Hampton 6-3, 7-6.


Image: Victoria Azarenka plays a return against Alexandra Panova during their first round match of the US Open on Monday
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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