Kvitova, Bouchard steamroll into second round at U.S. Open

Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:36pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and runner-up Eugenie Bouchard launched their U.S. Open campaigns with a bang, blasting by their respective first-round opponents in quick fashion on Tuesday.

Third-seeded Kvitova of the Czech Republic crushed Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-1 6-0, while Bouchard was nearly as efficient in dismissing Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2 6-1 in the Flushing Meadows sunshine.

"I'm very happy. First round is always nerves," said the hard-hitting Kvitova, who won the lead-in tournament in New Haven last weekend. "It was the same today. When I wake up, I start to feel nervous. I was just glad how I played today."

Kvitova stumbled at the first hurdle here after winning her first Wimbledon crown in 2011.

"The other grand slams are a big challenge for me right now. I remember 2011 when I lost my first round after winning Wimbledon, so I'm just glad that I'm better already," she said with a smile.

The 20-year-old, pigtailed Bouchard, the only woman to reach the semi-finals of the year's first three majors, eradicated questions about her hard court form with an overwhelming win.

Seventh-seeded Bouchard, who won one match in three events since losing to Kvitova at the All England Club last month as she was bothered by knee and hamstring injuries, ripped 19 winners and forced 24 errors from an outclassed Govortsova.

"Obviously I would have liked more matches, but that's the way it is sometimes. I feel like I practiced well before, and that was the best I could do at that moment," said aggressive baseliner Bouchard. "I still feel very confident with myself and I'm happy with today."   Continued...

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard hits a return to Olga Govortsova of Belarus during their match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, August 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz