Williams sisters make winning starts, Halep cruises at US Open

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It was all systems go as the Williams sisters advanced to the second round of the US Open, though some seeds were not so fortunate in New York.

World number one and 22-time grand-slam champion Serena was far too good for Ekaterina Makarova at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.

Venus - the sixth seed - triumphed in her 72nd major appearance, overcoming Kateryna Kozlova.

There were also wins for Agnieszka Radwanska, last year's semi-finalist Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova, but the likes of Elena Vesnina, Kiki Bertens and Ana Ivanovic bowed out on day two at Flushing Meadows.

 

SISTER ACT WIN IN OPENING ROUND

Serena and Venus Williams made winning starts at the season's final grand slam, though in contrasting fashion.

Bidding to close in on Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 majors, Serena accounted for her Russian opponent 6-3 6-3.

Venus was forced to dig deep against Kozlova, eventually prevailing 6-2 5-7 6-4.

Up a set and leading 3-0 in the second, Venus lost her way as Kozlova levelled the match, but the American veteran regrouped to book her spot in the second round.

 

BEST OF THE REST PROGRESS

While all eyes were on Serena and Venus, Radwanska and Halep were busy getting it done earlier in the day.

American qualifier Jessica Pegula was no match for Radwanska, who recorded a crushing 6-1 6-1 win at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Polish fourth seed Radwanska - one of three players alongside Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza able to dethrone Serena as world number one - was a class above, tallying just four unforced errors as she closed out the match in 55 minutes.

Halep was just as dominant against Kirsten Flipkens, accounting for her opponent 6-0 6-2.

The Romanian fifth seed was in control, despite a hiccup late in the second as she double-faulted away a match point at 5-0 40-30.

In other results for the seeds, 2011 champion Samantha Stosur, Carla Suarez Navarro, Pliskova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Caroline Garcia, Timea Bacsinszky, Timea Babos and Laura Siegemund all emerged as winners from the first round.

 

DAY TO FORGET FOR IVANOVIC AND CO.

The rapid demise of former world number one Ivanovic continued, ousted by Denisa Allertova in straight sets.

For the second consecutive year, 29th seed Ivanovic crashed out in the first round after losing 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 to the unheralded Czech.

Ivanovic was not without her chances, twice serving for the opening set at 5-4 and 6-5 but she was unable to make the most of her opportunities.

She was not the only seed to fall on Tuesday.

Ukrainian 19th seed Vesnina went down 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-3 to Anett Kontaveit, 20th seed Bertens crashed to a 6-3 2-6 6-4 defeat at the hands of Ana Konjuh, while Wang Qiang dispatched 23rd seed Daria Kasatkina 6-4 2-6 6-2.

 

YOU CAN BANK ON SERENA WINNING IN THE FIRST ROUND, BOUCHARD STRUGGLES

Serena had only ever lost once in the first round of a grand slam in 64 tries and that record never really looked in doubt against Makarova.

Canadian favourite Eugenie Bouchard tallied 46 unforced errors in her 6-3 3-6 6-2 loss to Katerina Siniakova as the 2014 Wimbledon finalist struggles to content for trophies.

 

ALL EYES ON HALEP, MUGURUZA AND VINCI

World number two Kerber opens her campaign against Mirjana Lucic-Bencic on Wednesday. Muguruza headlines the evening session as she faces Anastasija Sevastova and Roberta Vinci - the seventh seed and last year's runner-up, tackles local Christina McHale.