| By Brian Coleman
Photo credit: Brian Coleman

It was a good start to the 2017 U.S. Open for two former Grand Slam winners, as third-seeded Garbine Muguruza and 13th-seeded Petra Kvitova both advanced to the second round with straight-set victories.

Muguruza, the 2017 Wimbledon champion, continued her in-form tennis with a 6-0, 6-3 drubbing over American Varvara Lepchenko in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I love the big stage, I love to go on Arthur Ashe, and have the crowd enjoy the match,” said Muguruza. “I started very well, and then the match was a bit more even as I was expecting. I kept myself composed and went for it.”

The Spaniard needed just over 60 minutes to advance on Monday, breaking Lepchenko five times in six chances and hitting 13 winners in the second set.

Muguruza is considered a favorite to win it all in Flushing Meadows, but she is not thinking about any expectations for herself, and taking it one match at a time.

“I don’t really care,” Muguruza said of being one of the Flushing Meadows favorites. “People might think that, but you come here and with the conditions and the past, there are certain players that play better and certain players that don’t. So far I’m just thinking that I’m happy that I’m in the second round, and that’s what I’m going to take away.”

Up next for Muguruza will be China’s Ying-Ying Duan a 7-6, 7-6 winner Monday over American qualifier Claire Liu.

Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, got past Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 7-5, rattling off the match’s final four games to advance in straight sets.

The Czech is playing in just her eighth tournament, returning to the tour after she was attacked in her home with a knife by an intruder in December. She hit 31 winners and broke Jankovic five times to move on in one hour and 31 minutes.

“I feel that I played better in New Haven. In tennis, every day is different. Just trying to find a way to get better,” said Kvitova about her progress. “Not every day is going to be the best day. At the end of the day, I’m very happy.”

Kvitova moves on to play France’s Alize Cornet, who got past Great Britain’s Heather Watson Monday afternoon, 6-4, 6-4.

In an all-American matchup on Court 17, wild card Sofia Kenin notched her first Grand Slam main draw victory with a 7-5, 7-5 triumph over the 32nd seeded Lauren Davis. Kenin came back from 0-4 down in the opening set to turn the tables on the match and move on to the second round.

In the second set, Kenin saved four break points and converted on three of her four chances to come out victorious.

Kenin will take on another American in the second round when she meets qualifier Sachia Vickery, who continued her run in Flushing Meadows by coming back from a set down to beat Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova defeated Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 7-5 in opening round action Monday at the 2017 U.S. Open

 


France’s Alize Cornet, defeated Great Britain’s Heather Watson Monday afternoon in Flushing Meadows, 6-4, 6-4

 


Sofia Kenin notched her first Grand Slam main draw victory with a 7-5, 7-5 triumph over the 32nd-seeded Lauren Davis in an all-American matchup in Round One of the 2017 U.S. Open

 

Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com