Ash Barty lived up to top-seed billing on Tuesday, shooting out of the gates to hammer Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-1, 7-6(7) on Tuesday to reach the US Open second round.

The Australian world No. 1 needed just 90 minutes to advance, striking 11 aces and breaking four times against the runner-up from 11 years ago.

Barty earned her 41st victory of the season, winning the opening set in a quick 24 minutes and finishing with 31 winners to nine for Zvonareva.

The Australian owns five titles this season including Wimbledon and the Open run-up event in Cincinnati. Zvonareva has not been past the second round of a major since 2014.

“It was obviously a tough one against Vera straight up, she’s an experienced campaigner,” Barty said.

“She knows how to get herself into matches. All in all, adapting to conditions was a little bit slower than I probably would have liked.

“But there’s another chance to improve on that in the next round.”. 

Barty now faces 18-year-old Dane Clara Tauson, who won a battle of former junior No. 1 players 7-5, 6-0 over Clara Burel of France.

Fourth seed Karolina Pliskova defeated US teen Caty McNally 6-3, 6-4 with July’s Wimbledon finalist against Barty winning in 84 minutes with eight aces and five breaks of serve.

“She played better in the second. But my serve wasn’t really there today, so I have to work on that,” Pliskova said. 

“But I finished with two aces there at the end, so I’m happy with that.”
 Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic took down Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-4, with the Swiss swinging freely after her massive achievement in Tokyo.

“I’m still on cloud nine, but I’m focusing on this tournament and on playing well.

“But I feel like I want to be on cloud nine all the time… I’m very happy about it. 

“Having this experience at my first Olympics – winning the gold – it’s probably going to be the biggest achievement I will ever have.”

British qualifier Emma Raducanu, the No. 150 who reached the Wimbledon second week on a wild card, moved into the second round over Swiss lucky loser Stefanie Voegele 6-2, 6-3.

Emma Raducanu winning first round match – courtesy USTA

Maria Sakkari of Greece beat Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-3.


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