30
Aug
11

Roger & Venus both unimpressive winners on day one.

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Venus Williams played her first match in two months and beat 91st-ranked Vesna Dolonts of Russia 6-4, 6-3. Williams hit six aces and 28 total winners against the weary Dolonts, who left Moscow at 4 a.m. EDT and arrived at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at 4 p.m., after having flights cancelled Saturday and Sunday because of Tropical Storm Irene. “It’s always nerve-racking to play the first match after a layoff in a major. It’s not really my first choice at all,” said Williams, who pulled out of recent tune-up tournaments because of a virus. “But I just tried to rely on experience and, I don’t know, just tried to get after it. So I was pleased with the level.”

In the day’s last match, 16-time major winner Roger Federer beat 54th-ranked Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to collect his 224th victory in Grand Slam play, tying Andre Agassi for second-most in the Open era. “It doesn’t need to be pretty. I don’t think I’ve ever played my very, very best in the first round. It’s always nice to be winning matches,” said Federer, who now trails only Jimmy Connors’ career total of 233. Also in the night session, Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., fell 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4 to Christina McHale of the United States. Wozniak fought back to take the second set in a tiebreaker and was up 2-0 in the third, but McHale took control and shut out the Canadian in the final game.

Other winners included No. 7 Gael Monfils; No. 8 Mardy Fish, who played his first U.S. Open match as the top-seeded American and beat Tobias Kamke 6-2, 6-2, 6-1; No. 9 Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up; No. 13 Richard Gasquet; No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov; and No. 27 Marin Cilic, who eliminated 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (6).

 

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