Serena Willimas batted off the defence of her US Open title with a convincing 6-0, 6-1, victory over Italian Francesca Schiavone at Flushing Meadows on Monday.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 on his return to the championships since his final defeat to Novak Djokovic in 2011, after missing last year’s event due to injury.
World number one Serena needed just 60 minutes to dispatch the 33-year-old Italian, conceding just six points in the first set.
Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, couldn’t withstand the three time US Open champion.
“I knew playing a former Grand Slam champion in the first round was a really tough draw so I decided to be super serious,” said Serena.
Roger Federer did not set foot on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court as rain stopped play just before 10:30pm local time.
Poland’s third seed Agnieszka Radwanska beat Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-2.
At the Luis Armstrong Stadium, China’s 5th seed Li Na cruised past Belarusian Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-2.
American Slaone Stephens (15th seed) beat Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
Frenchman Richard Gasquet (eighth seed) defeated Michael Rusell of the United States 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Fourth seed David Ferrer saw off Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.
At the Grandstand, Australia’s Bernard Tomic beat Spaniard Albert Ramos 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.
Ivan Dodig of Croatia was a surprise winner against Spain’s 27th seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3.
Jelena Jankovic of Serbia (9th seed) beat Madison Keys of the United States 6-3, 6-4.
8th seed Angelique Kerber (Germany) beat Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.
At the Outside Court, British Laura Robson defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 7-5, 6-0.
In the other match involving another Briton, Dan Evans saw off the challenges of Japan’s 11th seed Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
“It’s definitely the biggest win of my career, but it’s only another match and I’m looking forward to getting back on court and playing again,” said Evans.
Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria eventually overcame Latvian Ernest Gulbis 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas retired in the game against Janko Tipsarevic (18th seed) of Serbia with scores at 6-3, 6-7 (6-5), 6-3.