News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

Rediff News  All News  » Sports » US Open Photos: Djokovic, Serena roll into second round

US Open Photos: Djokovic, Serena roll into second round

Last updated on: August 29, 2012 10:27 IST

Image: Novak Djokovic returns a shot against Paolo Lorenzi during their first round match on Tuesday
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Second seed Novak Djokovic and three-times champion Serena Williams overwhelmed bewildered opponents on Tuesday at the US Open, leading a procession of top seeds into the second round of the year's final Grand Slam.

Djokovic needed only one hour, 13 minutes to blitz Italy's Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 in his first-round match under the lights on a cool evening at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Joining the charismatic Serb in the winner's circle at Flushing Meadows were number five Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, number six Tomas Berdych, and former champion Andy Roddick, the 20th seed.

On the women's side, second seed Agnieszka Radwanska and number six Angelique Kerber all advanced easily, while the only notable casualty was former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

'My game was great from the start to the end'

Image: Novak Djokovic returns to Paolo Lorenzi during their first round match on Tuesday
Photographs: REUTERS/Adam Hunger

The Djokovic blow-out was so one-sided that it was difficult to tell if the 2011 US Open champion was that good or Lorenzi had perhaps the worst evening of his life on a tennis court.

"My game was great from the start to the end," said the second seeded Djokovic, who won three of four majors last year.

"It's also important for me to try to be as economical with the time I spend on the court as possible, but obviously not underestimating any opponent.

"I played really focused, tried to get to the net also. It was great all in all."

The 69th-ranked Lorenzi said he had trouble with the blustery conditions before a sell-out crowd of nearly 24,000 at cavernous Ashe Stadium.

"I had never played on the center court and there was a lot of wind," he said.

"So sometimes I'd miss an easy ball because the ball was flying a lot. But he's playing so good. I tried my best."

Serena routs compatriot Vandeweghe

Image: Serena Williams returns a shot to Coco Vandeweghe during their first round match on Tuesday
Photographs: REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Fourth-seeded Serena Williams followed Djokovic on the court and produced a 6-1, 6-1 rout of 75th-ranked American Coco Vandeweghe, who committed 22 errors and produced only nine winners against the 30-year-old, 14-times Grand Slam champion.

World No 2 Radwanska of Poland showed no signs of a shoulder injury that forced her out of the New Haven tournament last week as she routed 91st-ranked Nina Bratchikova 6-1, 6-1.

Hampered by a knee problem, eighth-seeded Wozniacki never broke the serve of World No 96 Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania and lost 6-2, 6-2 in one hour, 21 minutes.

"You always want to go in and do your best no matter what's happening out there," Wozniacki said softly.

"I tried. I didn't play particularly well, made too many errors. It's unfortunate because it's a huge tournament, a tournament you want to play well in."

'I'm looking forward to the top 10, all that great stuff'

Image: Venus Williams hits a return to compatriot Bethanie Mattek-Sands during their first round match on Tuesday
Photographs: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Venus Williams overpowered Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 6-1 and in the process clocked the fastest women's serve of the tournament to date at 124 mph (199 kph).

Now ranked number 46, Venus said she yearned to get back into the world top 10 but conceded "it never happens the way you want it to."

"That's one thing I found out throughout my whole career," said Venus, who was forced to withdraw from the tournament shortly before her second-round match last year after discovering she had an autoimmune disease.

"When you don't make it to one goal, just make some more. But, of course, I'm looking forward to the top 10, all that great stuff. I feel like I have it in me."

She admitted on Tuesday she was in denial until recently about the seriousness of the disease.

"Honestly, I didn't even understand what I was going through," she said. "I feel like it's been just this summer I've come to acceptance. Especially when you're an athlete you see yourself as this healthy person and nothing can defeat you.

"So it takes a while before you can see yourself with flaws and chinks in the armour. Now that I have come to accept it, it helps me a lot in how I need to prepare for my matches.

"It's not as intimidating. I definitely was intimidated in a lot of matches this year, coming back and learning to play with this, so I've come a long way mentally, emotionally, physically as well."

Roddick eases past qualifier Williams

Image: Andy Roddick hits a return to compatriot Rhyne Williams during their first round match on Tuesday
Photographs: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Like Venus, Roddick is trying to re-capture the form that saw him win the US Open in 2003. On Tuesday, he cruised by 21-year-old American qualifier Rhyne Williams 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Roddick blasted 20 aces and successfully landed 73 percent of his first serves to easily subdue Williams on a steamy day at the National Tennis Center.

Williams hit 30 winners but committed 23 unforced errors in the loss to Roddick and perhaps a few too many drop shots for his opponent's liking.

"He hit about as many drop shots today as I ever hit in my career," Roddick, who will turn 30 later this week, said with a laugh, while adding that the game has changed a lot since his US Open triumph.

"I had a massive serve at 135 (miles per hour, 217kph), and this kid today was hitting them that big," said Roddick.

"The game has gotten significantly better since then."
© Copyright 2022 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.