Sam Survives, Kim Cruises
Published August 30, 2010 12:00
NEW YORK, NY, USA - The second set was a little streaky, but Kim Clijsters snapped back into it when it mattered, coming back from 0-4 to close out Greta Arn in straight sets, 60 75, her 26th straight victory in the first round of a major.
Clijsters, the No.2 seed and defending champion, stormed through the first set in just 18 minutes and, after going down a double break in the second set, gathered steam again, winning seven of eight games for the victory.
"Obviously at the beginning of the second set she started going for a little bit more, and I kind of lost my positioning and footing on the court, going with the wind then against the wind," Clijsters said. "Everyone has to work hard to win a Grand Slam, and that's what I'm going to try to do. I want to make sure I play my best tennis when I have to and try to win my matches."
Clijsters has now won 15 straight matches at the US Open, 7-0 to win in 2005, 7-0 to win last year and 1-0 so far this year. She missed 2006 with injury and sat 2007 and 2008 out while in retirement, which she came out of last year.
She says she doesn't feel any pressure this year: "I know what I have to do if I want to do as well as I did last year. The amount of work and time you have to put into trying to bring your best and beat all the players, you just know after so many years. I'm not feeling any pressure - I'm excited to defend my title."
On the woman who is seeded No.1 this year, Caroline Wozniacki? "For such a young girl and for someone who hasn't had that much experience yet, she can read an opponent's game really well. Her consistency is one of her strengths, and she moves well too. She's still young - she has been improving too."
Other Top 8 seeds moving through in the day session were this year's French Open finalists, Samantha Stosur and Francesca Schiavone. Stosur, seeded No.5 and the runner-up in Paris, edged Elena Vesnina, 36 76(2) 61, while Schiavone, who became Italy's first Grand Slam champion on the terre battue and is the No.6 seed here, was near perfect against Ayumi Morita, 61 60.
"To get through the first round at a tournament where you've never done that great is always a bit of a relief," said Stosur, who has never gotten past the second round here - the only major where that's the case. "As the match went on I thought I played better and better. To get through is really pleasing."
"I was really ready and excited to start a new Grand Slam in the US, at the US Open," said Schiavone, whose best result here was the quarterfinals in 2003, falling to Jennifer Capriati. "I had to work hard today. Maybe the score looks easy, but nothing is easy. I played very well. I had to play at a high level."