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Djokovic, Serena win easily at the U.S. Open
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Second seed Novak Djokovic and three-times champion Serena Williams overwhelmed bewildered opponents on Tuesday at the U.S. 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.
The Djokovic blow-out was so one-sided that it was difficult to tell if the 2011 U.S. 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."
Fourth-seeded 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 number two 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 number 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."
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."
Like Venus, Roddick is trying to re-capture the form that saw him win the U.S. Open in 2003. On Tuesday, he cruised by 21-year-old American qualifier Rhyne Williams 6-3 6-4 6-4.
Roddick said "the game has gotten significantly better" than when he won the title.
"I had a massive serve at 135 (mph), and this kid today was hitting them that big," he said with a smile. (Editing by Frank Pingue/Greg Stutchbury)
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