NEW YORK, NY, USA - It was smooth sailing for the seeded pairings on the first day of doubles action Wednesday at the US Open, with all advancing and only one surrendering a set.
Fifth-seeded Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova had the most lopsided scoreline, recording a 60 61 rout of Polona Hercog and Andreja Klepac. King and Shvedova have only paired up twice previously this year - both times at majors - but continue to be in top form at Grand Slams. The 2010 US Open champions and 2011 runners-up are now 12-1 at Flushing Meadows and 28-5 at majors. Interestingly enough, King and Shvedova squared off in the first round of singles on Tuesday, with Shvedova coming out on top.
"Finally played with Vania on the same side of the court," Shvedova tweeted. "Played very well and as usual we had fun and won!"
Tested a bit more were second-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. They converted on four of five break point opportunities in their 64 75 victory over Varvara Lepchenko and Zheng Jie. Champions at the French Open and runners-up at the Australian Open, the Italians are now 14-2 in Grand Slam play this year.
Third-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka continued their good form with a 62 64 triumph over Melinda Czink and Agnes Szavay. The Czechs have gotten to at least the semifinals in four of their past five events and have won 18 of their last 21 matches.
Ninth-seeded Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears were the lone seeds to drop a set but nonetheless got past Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova, 46 61 62. Also, 10th-seeded Czechs Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova were 63 63 winners over Kiki Bertens and Arantxa Rus in 59 minutes.
Despite being the favorites in most people's eyes, Serena and Venus Williams are unseeded, having only paired up twice previously this year. Competing in doubles at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2009, they were challenged in the first set but cruised from there in a 64 60 defeat of fellow Americans Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy. They are now 12-0 this year, 19-2 all-time at the US Open and 24-1 in Grand Slam openers. That lone defeat was at the hands of Jill Hetherington and Kathy Rinaldi Stunkel at their very first major - the 1997 US Open.
Serena Williams talked about her success in singles and doubles this summer after her first round singles win on Tuesday.
"It's amazing. It's been a long stretch," Williams said. "I think what's been even more amazing is the fact I'm playing singles and doubles and going really deep in both events. I really love winning singles, and I love winning doubles. Every time you step out on the court you have to bring it mentally and physically. I'm really excited that I've been able to consistently do that."