Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams safely through at US Open
American interest in the US Open remains strong after Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams eased into the second round.
Defending champion Stephens was in particularly impressive form, cruising past Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina 6-1 7-5.
The 25-year-old needed just 78 minutes to book her place in the second round, although Rodina did rally in the second set.
“I just tried to stay calm and play my game. I upped my game a bit at 5-5 (in the second set) and I’m really pleased with that. I’m happy to get through,” Stephens said after the match.
Day one of the 2018 US Open marked the opening of the newly-built Louis Armstrong court, and Stephens believes that definitely played apart in her performance.
“I’m so honoured to be able play on this court on the first day.” she said.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 27, 2018
“It’s a beautiful court. Very loud and noisy, but that is what we like. It was an awesome day for me.
“I’m just happy to get the win and I’m excited to get the US Open started.”
Venus Williams, meanwhile, had to work a lot harder to get the best of Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The former world number one wobbled in the second but ran out eventual 6-3 5-7 6-3 winner.
“It’s not an easy match when you are playing a former US Open champion in the first round,” Williams said.
“We’ve had a lot of competitive matches and it seems like she (Kuznetsova) played her best when I was up. So it wasn’t easy to close that match out.
“I have so much respect for her and I’m just happy to close the match out.”
More from Tennis365:
‘I don’t feel comfortable to go there and play Roland Garros’ – Nick Kyrgios goes on offensive again
Nick Kyrgios has taken another swipe at tennis’ governing bodies, accusing the French Open of ‘a disappointing lack of seriousness.’
Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic was ‘very unlucky’, but insists players should have ‘self-control’
Rafael Nadal adds his two cents on rival.
Two-time French Open runner-up Kim Clijsters explains why she won’t be playing at Roland Garros
Kim Clijsters not sure when she will play again.
‘Nice guy’ Dominic Thiem deserves US Open and ‘right behind Rafa’ to win French Open – Novak Djokovic
Djokovic welcomes Thiem to Grand Slam winners club.
‘I’m still not feeling 100% tennis-wise but I enjoyed it,’ says Kei Nishikori after first win in a year
Kei Nishikori gets a win under his belt in Rome.
Rafael Nadal double downs on Novak Djokovic-led PTPA criticism: ‘We should not pursue our own interests’
‘We are going through a world crisis,’ says Nadal.
Andy Murray and Eugenie Bouchard handed French Open wildcards
Murray set for first Roland Garros appearance since 2016.
‘I was in shock and I was shaken by the whole thing,’ says Novak Djokovic about US Open default
Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open.
‘I achieved a life goal,’ says US Open winner Dominic Thiem after lifting his maiden Grand Slam
Dominic Thiem is a Grand Slam champion.
US Open day 14: An exhausted Dominic Thiem, Jordanne Whiley’s home support, 2020 roll of honour
The story of the final day of action at Flushing Meadows.