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:
Britain’s Heather Watson beaten in Abu Dhabi as the world No.1 also crashes out
Heather Watson bowed out of the Abu Dhabi Open in a gruelling second-round defeat by 17th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Quarantine plan revealed for the game’s top players ahead of Australian Open
The world’s leading players will quarantine in Adelaide rather than Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open.
Rising star provisionally suspended from all tennis activity following a positive doping test
Ukrainian rising star Dayana Yastremska has been…
Is this the real reason why Roger Federer is skipping next month’s Australian Open?
Roger Federer suggested he pulled out of the Australian Open for fitness reasons, yet other reasons were in play.
Sofia Kenin wins as the tennis season gets underway despite doubts over what happens next
No.1 seed Sofia Kenin of the United…
Exclusive – F1 champ Jenson Button on his love of tennis and the Federer vs Nadal debate
Formula 1 ace Jenson Button has admitted he is ‘in awe’ of the tennis giants of the modern era.
Exclusive – British Davis Cup captain makes a prediction for Dan Evans in 2021
British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith believes Dan Evans could be a player to watch in 2021.
Tennis star Camila Giorgi draws mixed response after posting sexy lingerie images on social media
Tennis star Camila Giorgi has been targeted by online trolls after sharing a series of racy lingerie snaps on her social media channels.
Legendary coach of Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic loses his fight with cancer
Bob Brett, one of tennis’ most respected coaches and a former director of player development has died of cancer.
Australian Open organisers scrambling to finalise preparations for players
The hard work appeared to have been done when Tennis Australia announced last month that the tournament would start on February 8.