Novak Djokovic’s bid for a 10th grand slam title got off to a winning start on day one of the US Open as the world number one enjoyed a comfortable victory over Brazil’s Joao Souza.
The Serbian need just 71 minutes to bag a 6-1 6-1 6-1 straight sets win over the Brazilian, while defending champion Cilic also got off to a flyer winning in straight sets against Argentine qualifier Guido Pella 6-3 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/3) .
There was also victory for eighth seed Rafael Nadal, as he hopes to put his Wimbledon disappointment behind him and got over the first hurdle by overcoming a tough test from Borna Coric to win 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4.
However, fourth seed Kei Nishikori’s tournament came to a premature end after the Japanese player suffered a shock first round defeat to Frenchman Benoit Paire who secured a 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-6 (8?6) 6-4 win.
There was also an early exit for Gaels Monfils as the 16th seed retired injured while trailing to Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko 6-2 4-6 5-0, but there was no such problems for fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfired Tsonga who scoured a comfortable 6-3 6-1 6-1 win over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.
David Ferrer booked his spot in the second round as the Spaniard came from a set down to beat Radu Albot of Moldova 4-6 7-5 6-1 6-0, while tenth seed Milos Raonic also enjoyed a first round 6-4 7-6 (10/8) 6-1 straight sets win over American Tim Smyczek.
Belgian David Goffin also enjoyed a straight sets win over Simone Bolelli of Italy as the 14th seed cruised to a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory, while there were also no problems for Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov who secured a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Aussie Matthew Ebdon.
On the women’s side of things, Serena Williams defence of her US Open title got off to a flyer as the American breezed past Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, who retired through injury trailing 6-2 2-0.
A number of seeds fell at the first hurdle among them seventh seed Ana Ivanovic who suffered a shock loss to Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, who inflicted a 6-3 3-6 6-3 defeat on the Serbian.
Tenth seed Carla Suarez Navarro was beaten by Czech Denisa Allertova 6-1 7-6 (7/5), while Jelena Jankovic – raked 21st – fell to French youngster Oceane Dodin 2-6 7-5 6-3.
29th seed Sloane Stephens lost in straight sets to fellow American Coco Vandeweghe 6-4 6-3, while there was also an early exit for Britain’s Heather Watson who fell to American Lauren Davis 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/0).
Venus Williams also nearly joined the list of casualties but the veteran American dug deep to beat Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig 6-4 6-7 (7/9) 6-3, while Madison keys joins the Williams’ sisters in the next round after a comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over Czech republic’s Klára Koukalová.
There was no trouble for Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska as the 15th seed booked her spot in the second round with a 6-2 6-3 win over Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, while 12th seed Belinda Bencic also cruised through after a 6-1 6-2 win over Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria.