NEW YORK, NY, USA - It was a tricky day for the favorites at the US Open on Monday, with a number of seeds surviving some big tests and some even going out on Day 1 of the final major of the season.
Among the early winners was the No.30 seed, Laura Robson, who was in deep trouble in the first set of her match - Lourdes Domínguez Lino served for the set at 5-4 - but the Brit turned up the heat just in time, breaking serve and eventually reeling off nine games in a row for a runaway 75 60 victory.
"I thought going into the match I'd be a little bit rusty, so I'm really happy to get the win today, especially playing as well as I did in the end," Robson said afterwards. "She's a really tough opponent to play, because she doesn't give you very many unforced errors and gets a lot of balls back. Some shots she somehow got it back, and then it ended up on the baseline. It's like the point basically restarted.
"I really wanted to win. I'd lost to her twice before, and the last time I played her I had match point, so I knew she was going to be confident. I just had to stay focused and not go for too much out there."
Robson hadn't played since Carlsbad due to a right wrist injury, but she was striking her backhand very nicely during the match - a good omen for a tournament she has done very well at previously.
"I played really well here last year, but I'm only in the second round now, so I have a long way to go," Robson said. "I thought I played especially well in the second set this morning, so I just have to take it one match at a time. I have to say it was great how many people came to watch today, though."
Other seeds moving through were No.1 seed Serena Williams, who beat Francesca Schiavone at night (read more here); No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and No.5 seed Li Na, who won early matches (read more here); and No.15 seed Sloane Stephens, who won a thriller against Mandy Minella (read more here). No.12 seed Kirsten Flipkens wasn't so lucky, falling to Venus Williams (read more here).
"My goal was to end up winning this match no matter what it took - it took a very long time, but I did it, and I'm very happy about it," Kleybanova said in her post-match press conference. "This is one of the first big tournaments I've played since a long break, so I'm just taking it step by step and enjoying it every day at this point. I'm just trying to improve as much as I can and just play my best tennis.
"Of course, a Grand Slam is one of the most important tournaments of the year, but I'm not thinking about that right now. I haven't played through the whole year every tournament like everyone else."
Next up for Kleybanova is Jankovic - Kleybanova leads Jankovic in their head-to-head series, 3-2.