Melanie Oudin met the pressure of kicking off the morning session of the first day of the 2010 US Open on Monday, overcoming a shaky start to roll over Olga Savchuk 6-3, 6-0.
The lone 18-year-old currently ranked in the Top 100, Oudin has had a problem playing her best since reaching the 2009 quarterfinals at the US Open, posting more losses than wins in 2010.
“Of course everyone loves to be the underdog because you can go out there, no matter who you’re playing, you’re not supposed to win,” Oudin said. “So you can go out there and play with everything that you have and just completely go for it, and no one expects anything from you. I think that’s when everyone plays their best.”
Oudin will next face No. 29 seed Alona Bondarenko, who defeated Vera Dushevina 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
All 16 seeds that were in action Monday advanced, including Top 10 seeds Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur (d. Elena Vesnina in three), Francesca Schiavone and Victoria Azarenka (d. (Q) Monica Niculescu 6-0, 5-7, 6-1). No other seeded players dropped a set.
“Just to come out there and defending my title, I think I’ve never been in that position, and so it couldn’t have come any faster because I wanted it to,” Clijsters said. “I wanted it to happen for a while, and I was just excited to go out there.”
Among other seeded results, No. 19 seed Flavia Pennetta dismissed American qualifier and NCAA champ Irina Falconi 6-2, 6-1, and No. 24 Daniela Hantuchova topped former No. 1 Dinara Safina 6-3, 6-4.
In all-unseeded action India’s Sania Mirza silenced Michelle Larcher De Brito 6-3, 6-2; Vania King won an all-American battle against Christina McHale 6-3, 0-6, 6-1; and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic defeated Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2.
“I think most important is that I have fun again, and it’s good to be competing,” Ivanovic said. “I really managed to get some pressure off myself, and that’s a huge step for me.”
Tuesday matches of interest in Flushing Meadows are struggling (4) Jelena Jankovic vs. Romanian Simona Halep, (14) Maria Sharapova coming off injury vs. Aussie Jarmila Groth, (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. NCAA champion Chelsey Gullickson, (11) Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. the ageless Kimiko Date Krumm, former Aussie top gun Alicia Molik vs. former Croat top gun Mirjana Lucic, American Beatrice Capra vs. Karolina “The Spreminator” Sprem, Austrian comer Tamira Paszek vs. (26) Lucie Safarova, German comer Andrea Petkovic vs. (17) Nadia Petrova, and French comer Alize Cornet vs. (31) Kaia Kanepi.
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