In a match where she simply would not go away, No. 296-ranked 17-year-old American qualifier Vicky Duval, who needed a wildcard to get into the qualifying, on Tuesday night defeated former US Open champ and No. 11 seed Sam Stosur 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in Flushing Meadows.
After failing to serve out the first set, Duval seemed destined for a “good effort” loss in a draw that was not much easier than her 2012 debut, when she lost to former champ Kim Clijsters in the first round. But Duval used her punishing ground game to hang around long enough to receive some help from Stosur, who contributed 56 unforced errors and 10 double faults.
“It was a big moment, big stage, not easy closing any match out, let alone a past US Open champion,” said the squeaky-voiced Duval, who will next meet Daniela Hantuchova. “I don’t even remember match point. I guess I was really happy. I mean, you could tell by all the jumping I did.”
There were some laughers in Top 10 action as No. 2 Victoria Azarenka beat Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-0, 6-0, No. 4 Sara Errani beat Olivia Rogowska 6-0, 6-0, No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki straight-setted China’s Duan Yingying, No. 7 Petra Kvitova recovered to defeat Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, and No. 10 Roberta Vinci straight-setted Hungary’s Timea Babos.
“I never played well in America before, then last year I played well when I won the US Open Series and got to the fourth round here,” Kvitova said. “It’s difficult to say why I’ve had problems here. I like Wimbledon, which is very calm, but then here it’s more crowd and big show, and while I like big matches in big stadiums, maybe it’s too crowded for me here.”
Other seeded winners were No. 13 Ana Ivanovic, No. 14 Maria Kirilenko, No. 22 Elena Vesnina, No. 26 Alize Cornet, No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova, and No. 28 Mona Barthel.
“It’s my only goal [to get back in the Top 10] I have at the moment — I really want to get back to the top of the game,” Ivanovic said. “Once you’re in the top, you don’t really feel satisfied with being in the Top 15. You really want to aim higher and push yourself. That’s where I’m at.”
Duval was the tip of the iceberg for unseeded American victories as Alison Riske topped grasscourt specialist Tsvetana Pironkova, Sachia Vickery beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, and Christina Mchale topped Julia Goerges, all in straight sets.
Joining Duval in orchestrating upsets were the Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina topping No. 17 Dominika Cibulkova, Israel’s Julia Glushko over No. 20 Nadia Petrova, and Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei upending No. 31 Klara Zakopalova, all in straight sets.
On the men’s side four Top 10ers moved into the second round Tuesday as No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 5 Tomas Berdych, No. 7 Roger Federer and No. 10 Milos Raonic scored straight-set victories.
Djokovic routed Ricardas Berankas 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, while Berdych eased past Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-4, 6-1, Federer stymied the big-hitting Slovenian Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, and Raonic topped Italian Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-3.
“I think I can put myself in that position [to win a major],” said the newly-Top 10 and newly-confident Raonic. “I just have to make the opportunities and convert them.”
Djokovic said he is returning to the Grand Slam mindset.
“I was just very happy with the concentration because I didn’t play so well in Montreal and Cincinnati in the warm-up tournaments for the US Open,” he said. “So I had 10 days to really give everything I can on the practice courts. I was very committed and put 100 percent into my preparations. It’s starting to pay off.”
Federer was happy with his result, if not his place on the schedule.
“It’s a first round after all,” the Swiss said. “There was a bit of a breeze. Should have played at night. Played during the day. Overall I’m pleased to be in the next round.”
No. 13 John Isner led the homecountry charge, destroying Italian Filippo Volandri 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.
“I work hard all throughout the year and I just seem to have finally put it together here during the summer season, just as a lot of players are,” Isner said. “If I can get a lot of wins under my belt, I become very confident.”
Isner will next meet Gael “Force” Monfils, a winner over Adrian Ungur 6-1, 6-2, 6-0.
The American men made a surge on Tuesday, as joining Isner in the second round were No. 26 Sam Querrey, along with unseeded players Denis Kudla, Jack Sock, and Donald Young who powered past Slovak Martin Klizan 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.
Other seeded winners were No. 12 Tommy Haas, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber, and No. 31 Julien Benneteau.
Four seeds were shown the door as Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez downed an injured No. 14 Jerzy Janowicz in straights, Uzbek Denis Istomin defeated No. 15 Nicolas Almagro in four, Portugal’s Joao Sousa surprised No. 25 Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 in the fifth, and German Florian Mayer benefited when No. 28 Juan Monaco retired down two sets.
Matches to look for Wednesday in Flushing Meadows are (6) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, (1) Serena Williams vs. Galina Voskoboeva, (3) Andy Murray vs. French net-rusher Michael Llodra, former No. 1 Venus Williams vs. Jie Zheng, former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt vs. U.S. comeback player Brian Baker, James Blake in possibly his last US Open match vs. “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic, Canadian riser Eugenie Bouchard vs. (8) Angelique Kerber, (9) Stan Wawrinka vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek, American Coco Vandeweghe vs. (18) Carla Suarez Navarro, (30) Laura Robson vs. French riser Caroline Garcia, and a veteran battle in Nicolas Mahut vs. (21) Mikhail Youzhny.
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