New York: It was a disappointing day at the court for eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki who failed to make it out of the first round of her second consecutive Grand Slam tournament. Her right knee injury made life difficult for her on court and she lost6-2, 6-2 to 96th-ranked Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania at the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
Wozniacki quit after the first set of her semifinal match last Friday in New Haven. Four days later, she was ousted from the U.S. Open, finishing the match with tape that trainers applied to her hurting knee during an injury timeout in the second set.
The Danish eighth seed, watched by golfing superstar boyfriend Rory McIlroy, came into the match with her knee heavily strapped, having picked up an injury at New Haven last week, and she needed more treatment on Tuesday before slipping to defeat. “I tried and didn’t succeed in playing well. There were too many errors. It’s frustrating but I will have to move on,” said Wozniacki, who made the semi-finals in the last two years.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic and three-time women’s winner Serena Williams stormed into the US Open second round. World number two Djokovic needed just 73 minutes to finish off an embarrassingly one-sided 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 battering of hapless Italian Paolo Lorenzi. The second-seeded Serb overcame dropping his serve in the opening game to reel off 18 of the next 19 games, firing seven aces as well as 32 winners against 30-year-old Lorenzi, who has never won a Grand Slam match.
“My game was great from start to finish. It was important to be economical with my time on court. I tried to get to the net and stay focussed,” said Djokovic, who next faces Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva. Serena Williams, the champion in 1999, 2002 and 2008, and twice a runner-up, was just as ruthless in the concluding match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, sweeping past US compatriot Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1. The Wimbledon and Olympic champion, who has 14 Grand Slam titles to her name, next tackles Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.
“The conditions were really crazy, but, hey, it’s the US Open so you have to be ready for the worst conditions,” said Williams, who has won 37 of her last 39 matches on tour. “I was ready for today and coming here as Olympic champion, I feel so great.”
Williams, playing her 14th consecutive US Open, missed nine months of action with the fatigue-causing Sjogren’s Syndrome and came into the tournament ranked at 46. Victory was a welcome relief after slumping to a first-round loss at Wimbledon this year. The 32-year-old next faces German sixth seed Angelique Kerber, who knocked her out of the London Olympics.
Andy Roddick, America’s last men’s major champion when he captured the 2003 US Open title, eased past compatriot and qualifier Rhyne Williams, the World No. 289. His comfortable 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win was a calm way to start his 13th successive US Open appearance, which also comes just two days before his 30th birthday. Roddick will next face Australia’s Bernard Tomic. Another American, Venus Williams, the 2000 and 2001 winner, also won an all-American match-up, beating wildcard BethanieMattek-Sands 6-3, 6-1.