US Open: Ashleigh Barty fights past Vera Zvonareva
Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Top seed Ashleigh Barty has made a successful start to her US Open campaign with a 6-1, 7-6 (7) victory over 2010 finalist Vera Zvonareva in the first round on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Australian hit 31 winners and broke the Russian four times in the one hour 28 minute match. She also won her eighth straight match at a major, having claimed the Wimbledon title a month ago.

Barty hits a forehand during her first-round victory/Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

Barty works hard to claim opening-round victory

After an opening hold to 15, Barty broke on her first chance with a stinging forehand winner to take a 2-0 lead. A subsequent hold to 15 extended her advantage to 3-0.

Zvonareva would get on the board in the next game, but the next time she served, she essentially broke herself following a double fault. Leading 5-1, Barty came through a tough 12-point game, saving a pair of break points to hold and clinch the set.

After trading breaks in the second set, the world number one seemingly took command, a stinging crosscourt forehand winner giving her another break and a 4-3 advantage. She held and moved one game away from victory.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Barty was surprisingly broken and the set would go to a tiebreaker. The Aussie held a 5-3 edge in the breaker, but again the Russian battled back and held a set point of her own at 7-6.

Zvonareva pushed Barty in the second set before falling just short/Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

An off forehand winner got her even at 7-7. A magnificent touch volley brought up a second match point. And she converted after pummeling Zvonareva from corner to corner until she finally went long on a backhand.

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