Bouchard quashes criticism in style

Canadian breezes through her first-round opponent at US Open while Kvitova, Ivanovic and Serena also through.

    Bouchard has reached the semi-finals of all three grand slams this year [EPA]
    Bouchard has reached the semi-finals of all three grand slams this year [EPA]

    Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and runner-up Eugenie Bouchard launched their US Open campaigns with a bang, blasting by their respective first-round opponents in quick fashion.

    Third-seeded Kvitova of the Czech Republic crushed Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-1, 6-0, while Bouchard was nearly as efficient in dismissing Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2, 6-1 in the Flushing Meadows sunshine.

    The 20-year-old, pigtailed Bouchard, the only woman to reach the semi-finals of the year's first three majors, eradicated questions about her hard court form with an overwhelming win.

    Seventh-seeded Bouchard, who won one match in three events since losing to Kvitova at the All England Club last month as she was bothered by knee and hamstring injuries, ripped 19 winners and forced 24 errors from an outclassed Govortsova.

    They were joined in the second round by eighth-seeded former world number one Ana Ivanovic, 11th-seeded Italian Flavia Pennetta, 16th seed Victoria Azarenka and 2011 champion Sam Stosur.

    Failing to follow a procession of seeds into the second round was former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. The 20th seed was upset by 82nd-ranked Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 3-6, 6-2, 7-6.

    Serena through

    Meanwhile, Serena Williams started her quest to join Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the career grand slam list with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over 18-year-old fellow American Taylor Townsend.

    Williams, seeking her third successive US Open title and 18th grand slam singles crown of her career, was simply too experienced for the erratic-yet-gifted Townsend, the 2012 Australian Open junior singles and doubles champion.

    Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22) and Helen Wills Moody (19) lead the list of all-time grand slam singles titles in women's tennis.


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