NEW YORK – Second-placed Ash Barty overcame a sluggish start, and a shaky serve survived the fear of the first round of error on a full opening day of the US Open and less than half of their first serve on the way to 1-6, 6: 3: 6: 2 victory on Monday against the 80-year-old Zarina Diyas from Kazakhstan.
The Australian lost the first set in just 28 minutes and did not begin to come alive until the match was knotted at 3-3 per second. She won nine out of the last eleven games and finished the match when Diyas sailed a forehand long.
"I was pleased with the way I got through after a pretty terrible start," said Barty. "Not the ideal start, not the perfect start, but it's what it is."
Barty's match helped kick off a day in which eight former US Open champions took part, including defending champions Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. The main event is the opening game at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Serena Williams will play for the first time against Maria Sharapova at the US Open. Williams won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Sharapova five.
Third-placed Karolina Pliskova also fought 32 times in her opening match and beat Tereza Martincova 7: 6 (6: 7) -6 in the first round (3).
And Kristina Mladenovic from France defeated the number 14 seed and in 2016 the US Open champion Angelique Kerber with 7-5, 0-6, 6-4. Kerber's defeat in the first round follows the second-round eliminations at the French Open and Wimbledon this year.
In other results, the twelfth Anastasija Sevastova defeated Eugenie Bouchard, a former Wimbledon finalist and top-10 player, 6-3 6-3. The former Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig fell with the same score on the Swedish Rebecca Peterson. And Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova defeated US Open champion Samantha Stosur in 2011 6: 1, 6: 3.