Ivanovic survives Dushevina scare

New York, August 27:

Top seed Ana Ivanovic struggled but held on to win her opening match, while a pair of wannabe number ones advanced in straights sets on the second day of the US Open.

World No 1 Ivanovic didn’t make the opening statement she had planned on on Tuesday. The 20-year-old Serbian survived a scare by beating Vera Dushevina 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Dinara Safina and Serena Williams won their first round matches in straight sets. Both have a chance at supplanting Ivanovic as the top ranked WTA player if they reach the finals here.

Safina defeated Kristie Ahn 6-3, 6-4. The 22-year-old Safina has won three titles in 2008 but hasn’t made it past the quarter-finals in the US Open. Two-time champion Serena Williams rolled to an easy win by beating Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1, 6-4. Sister Venus also booked a second round spot with a win over Aussie Samantha Stosur.

The women’s draw is wide open this year as the last three champions (Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin) are all absent.

Ivanovic moved through the second round where she will face Julie Coin of France who beat Australian Casey Dellacqua 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4). Safina will next face Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan who beat Stephanie Cohen-Aloro of France 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

On the men’s side, Roger Federer began his quest for his fifth consecutive US Open title in stunning fashion with a dominating 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 win over Maximo Gonzalez. The second seeded Swiss star Federer lost his world No 1 ranking last week to Rafael Nadal. He is hoping that another win here can salvage a season where he has won just two titles and failed to defend his Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns.

Federer dispatched Argentina’s Gonzalez in a scant 82 minutes and advances to the second round where he will face Thiago Alves of Brazil. Other winners included Fernando Gonzalez, Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo, Ivo Karlovic and Igor Andreev. Former world number one Marat Safin beat American Vince Spadea 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 while Germany’s Tommy Haas posted a mild upset over Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.