NEW YORK (Reuters) - Powerful Canadian upstart Eugenie Bouchard launched her U.S. Open campaign with a bang, blasting by Olga Govortsova of Belarus in under an hour on Tuesday to sprint into the second round.
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 6-2 6-1 win on a sunny day at Flushing Meadows.
Seventh-seeded Bouchard, who won only one match in three events since losing to Petra Kvitova in the Wimbledon final last month, ripped 19 winners and forced 24 errors from an outclassed Govortsova.
Bouchard, whose combination of skill and beauty landed her on the cover of Sunday’s New York Times magazine, was joined in the second round by eighth-seeded former world number one Ana Ivanovic and 2011 champion Sam Stosur.
On the men’s side, 10th seed Kei Nishikori of Japan, 13th-seeded American John Isner and 25th seed Ivo Karlovic of Croatia were among first-round winners.
Nishikori dismissed American wild card Wayne Odesnik 6-2 6-4 6-2, Isner ousted compatriot Marcos Giron 7-6 (5) 2-6 7-6 (2) and Karlovic eliminated Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in four sets.
Sam Querrey gave local fans another cause to cheer with a 6-2 4-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina.
The day session served as an appetizer to a hotly anticipated night program featuring 17-times grand slam winner Roger Federer and two-time defending champion Serena Williams.
Former champion Sam Stosur carried her recent momentum into New York with a first-round victory that extended a perfect record for Australians so far.
Stosur pushed past 49th-ranked American Lauren Davis 6-1 6-4 to put behind her a shock, first-round ouster at Flushing Meadows last year to American qualifier Victoria Duval.
The victory by 21st-ranked Stosur, only the third player to beat Serena Williams in a grand slam final, made it five-for-five for players from Australia in the opening round.
Stosur joined 32nd-ranked Casey Dellacqua and Anastasia Rodionova (221), and men’s players Nick Kyrgios (60) and Matthew Ebden (94) into the second round.
“It’s fantastic. What a good start,” said Stosur, who is battling back from a disappointing season. “Can’t get better than that so far.”
Stosur has struggled this season, suffering six losses to opponents ranked outside the top 60 and earlier this month dropped out of the top 20 for the first time in five years.
Last week, the hard-hitting Australian showed signs of a revival.
The 30-year-old Stosur beat Bouchard in New Haven before eventually falling to fourth-ranked Wimbledon champion Kvitova in the semi-finals.
“I am feeling good,” she said. “Going to Connecticut last week and playing well there and making semis, I think is a huge boost. I couldn’t really be pleased more with the way that I have had this lead-up.”
Ivanovic showed off her self-assured hard court form with a 6-3 6-0 rout of American Alison Riske, who had lost to the Serb 7-5 7-6 this year in New Zealand.
“It was very tough first-round match. We had a tough one in Auckland,” said Ivanovic, who has wins over Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova in battling back into the world top 10.
“The confidence is on a high level,” said Ivanovic. “I had a great season behind me.”
Editing by Frank Pingue