The first round of the US Open wrapped up with play from the top half of the women's draw. Top seed Ashleigh Barty, fourth seed Karolina Pliskova and seventh seed Iga Swiatek all moved on easily while sixth seed Bianca Andreescu fought through in three sets.
Barty, Pliskova, Swiatek roll; Andreescu works hard for first-round victory
Top seed and tournament favorite Barty fought off 2010 finalist Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 7-6 (4) in 88 minutes. The Aussie won her eighth consecutive match at a major after taking the title at Wimbledon.
Barty permitted just nine points to the Russian over the first six games of the contest and looked poised for a routine victory serving for the match at 5-3, but Zvonareva fought back to force a tiebreaker.
Zvonareva led 7-6 in the breaker, but the world number one won the final three points to close out the match.
"Obviously a tough one against Vera straight up. She's an experienced campaigner. She knows how to get herself into matches. I think all in all adapting to conditions was a little bit slower than I probably would haver liked but [we're] through.
"I think when my back was against the wall late in that buster, I came up with some really good stuff. That's all we can ask when your back is against the wall, you trust yourself, you go ut there, pick your spots and hit them."
Fourth seed Pliskova progressed past wild card Caty McNally 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes to extend her winning streak in major first rounds to 21.
Swiatek needed just 74 minutes to get past American qualifier Jamie Loeb 6-3, 6-4, improving her record to 10-1 in first-round matches at Grand Slams.
The Pole fired off 23 winners, never faced a break point in the match and lost just four points on her first serve against the world number 194.
"It's the first round so my level isn't going to be as high as usual, but that's normal", she said. "I think i'm going to get into the rhythm next round. But i'm really happy with how I played this.
"My opponent played really well. When my shots didn't have perfect precision, she used that and she played pretty fast. I wasn't in the rhythm. At the end it worked out pretty well."
Andreescu, unable to defend her title last year due to injury, battled past Viktorija Golubic 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in a match that ended after midnight.
The Swiss, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, led by a break in the first and third sets and led 5-3 in the opener before the Canadian won nine consecutive points and broke Golubic in a 14-minute game to win the set.
At 2-2 in the second set and before she was set to serve, Andreescu asked to see the physio and doctor. After complaining that she was feeling unwell, Andreescu was given a tablet and play continued, but Golubic finally broke to take a 5-4 lead and closed out the set a game later.
Andreescu wiped out three break point chances to hold for 2-1 in the third set. Golubic finally broke through the sixth seed's serve for a 3-2 lead. The 2019 champion rallied to win five of the final seven games and book her spot in the second round.
"I definitely haven't had a lot of matches in but I feel very comfortable on this court. I'm able to go back to the feelings I had in 2019 and that confidence a little bit more than other tournaments.
"Maybe it's the court, maybe the tournament, all of that. I channeled a lot in the match and honestly, it was super, super, close. It really came down to a couple of points. I just fought the hardest, honestly."
23rd seed Jessica Pegula eased past Anastasia Potpaova 6-2, 6-2, Amanda Anisimova returning to Grand Slam action with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Zarina Diyas, Shelby Rogers prevailing 6-4, 6-0 in an all-American affair against Madison Brengle and Lauren Davis edging Viktoriya Tomova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Joining McNally and Loeb on the sidelines were Hailey Baptiste, a 6-3, 6-4 loser to Shuai Zhang, Katie Volynets, routed 6-3, 6-1 by Ajla Tomljanovic, Coco Vandeweghe fell to Martina Trevisan 6-1, 7-5, Claire Liu was ousted by Su-wei Hsieh 6-1, 6-4 and Ashlyn Krueger, edged out by Anna Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
Other seeded results
10th seed Petra Kvitova advanced past Polona Hercog 6-1, 6-2 and 11th seed Belinda Bencic posted a routine win over Arantxa Rus 6-4, 6-4. The Olympic champion hit 20 winners and improved to 3-0 against the lefty from the Netherlands.
"I felt very comfortable on court. I felt like my serve was helping me a lot. In the last couple of matches I played a lot of times against left-handed players, so for sure it's a little bit more tricky for me.
"I think he serve gave me a little bit of trouble, so I had to find a way to break her. I'm just really happy with how I played and happy to be in the second round."
14th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova cruised past Alison Riske 6-4, 6-2, 17th seed Maria Sakkari eased past Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-3, 24th seed Paula Badosa rolled past Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-3, 28th seed Anett Kontaveit crushed 2011 champion Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-0 and 30th seed Petra Martic rolled past Dalma Galfi 6-3, 6-2.
Only two seeds were eliminated: 22nd seed Karolina Muchova by Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 7-6 (3) and 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-0.
British sensation Emma Raducanu knocked off lucky loser Stefanie Voegele 6-2, 6-3, coming from a break down in the second set. Her countrywoman Katie Boulter fell to Liudmila Samsonova 6-3, 6-2. Jil Teichmann defeated Cristina Busca 6-4, 6-3 and Kristyna Pliskova moved on, defeating Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-4.
Misaki Doi got past Storm Sanders 7-6 (3), 6-3, Katerina Siniakova defeated former semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (6), 6-3, Fiona Ferro blew away Nao Hibino 6-1, 6-4 and Clara Tauson won the last eight games of her match against Clara Burel in her 7-5, 6-0 victory.
Finally, lucky loser Greet Minnen won in three sets against Nadia Podoroska 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.