2021 US Open, women's singles: Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova advance
Number seven seed Iga Swiatek got her 2021 US Open campaign off to a flying start. The youngster defeated American qualifier Jamie Loeb, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 14 minutes on the Grandstand court. Meanwhile, veteran Petra Kvitova beat Polona Hercog 6-1, 6-2 in straight sets to advance to the second round. Here we present the major details.
2020 French Open champion Swiatek has now reached the second round in New York for the third straight season. She now has a 10-1 win-loss record in first-round matches at Grand Slam events. This was the first meeting between the pair. World number eight Swiatek fired 23 winners and eight aces. Swiatek had 16 unforced errors. She also won 40 service points.
After her win, Swiatek said she was really happy with how she played. "It's the first round so my level isn't going to be as high as usual, but that's normal," Swiatek said. "I think I'm going to get into the rhythm in the next round. But I'm really happy with how I played this," she added.
Swiatek will face France's Fiona Ferro in the second round, after the latter beat Nao Hibino of Japan, 6-1, 6-4. Meanwhile, 31-year-old Kvitova swept past Hercog in a 6-1, 6-2 affair. Kvitova had an 81% win on the first serve and converted 4/4 breakpoints, besides having three double faults. Kvitova will face Kristyna Pliskova in the next round, who beat Danka Kovinic 6-4, 6-3.
British teen sensation Emma Raducanu and Tokyo 2020 Olympics champion Belinda Bencic won their first-round encounters. Raducanu, who came through the qualifiers to make her US Open main-draw debut, dispatched Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland, 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 18 minutes. Meanwhile, Bencic won her opening-round match over Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, 6-4, 6-4. Bencic now has a 3-0 record against Rus.
2019 champion Bianca Andreescu made a winning return at the US Open. The Canadian star came from a break down in the third to defeat Viktorija Golubic, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in a late-night first-round finish. The No.6 seed was made to sweat by the 45th-ranked Swiss, who led by a break in the first and third sets before Andreescu fought back in style.