NEW YORK, NY, USA - Top-seeded Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond came close to having their US Open title defense end in the first round Thursday, but prevailed against Eleni Daniilidou and Casey Dellacqua.
Huber and Raymond, who netted their first title in several months and fifth of the year last week in New Haven, converted on five of six break point chances in their 64 67(8) 64 triumph. It was also their 80th win as a duo against 27 defeats.
Both Huber and Raymond have illustrious histories at Flushing Meadows. Huber has been to four straight finals here, winning two of them - including last year alongside Raymond. That was Raymond's third US Open title in 20 appearances. She first played here in 1990 and her nine partners have included the likes of Lindsay Davenport, Rennae Stubbs, Maria Sharapova, Martina Navratilova and Samantha Stosur. Only once did she drop her opener - in 2009 alongside Shenay Perry. Next up for Huber and Raymond are Jarmila Gajdosova and Alicja Rosolska.
Having an easier time of it were No.4 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, who were semifinalists here last year in their first major as a duo. Playing for the first time since their bronze medal showing at the Olympics, the Russians were 60 63 winners over Anne Keothavong and Anna Tatishvili.
Among the other seeds advancing were sixth-seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, eighth-seeded Spaniards Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez, 11th-seeded Julia Goerges and Kveta Peschke and 13th-seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza. Mattek-Sands and Mirza won 22 of 25 first serve points in their 61 61 rout of Alberta Brianti and Sorana Cirstea. It was the most one-sided scoreline of their 28 career wins together.
In a match involving unseeded teams, Chuang Chia-Jung and Zhang Shuai beat Belgians Kim Clijsters and Kirsten Flipkens, 63 64. That put an end to Clijsters' women's doubles career a day after her singles career wound up. Of her 11 doubles titles, two were majors. She is not quite done at Flushing Meadows, though, as she is in the mixed doubles draw with Bob Bryan.
Speaking of mixed doubles, Thursday's action was highlighted by defending champions Melanie Oudin and Jack Sock surviving their opener against fifth-seeded Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic, 46 63 1513.