NEW YORK – Andy Murray weathered a slow start in the latest stop of this long, successful summer.
Seeking that elusive first Grand Slam title, Murray began his U.S. Open campaign Monday with a straight-set victory over Alex Bogomolov Jr. that included some hairy moments. The Olympic gold medalist overcame early breaks in the first two sets of a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 win.
The third-seeded Murray won the final five games of the first set and the last four games of the second after falling behind early against the 73rd-ranked Bogomolov.
Murray, who won the gold medal in his home country at the London Games, also reached the final at Wimbledon.
Back at the site of her greatest victory, Samantha Stosur looked like a champion again, not the player who has often struggled this year.
The Australian began the defense of her Open title with a dominant win, needing 51 minutes to beat 64th-ranked Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1 in the tournament’s first match at Arthur Ashe Stadium before rain suspended play for more than two hours.
“As soon as I got here, it was just a good feeling and excitement to be back to a city that obviously brought me so much last year,” Stosur said.
The last time Stosur played on this court, she stunned Serena Williams in the 2011 final at Flushing Meadows for her first Grand Slam title. But that 6-2, 6-3 victory was starting to feel as if it happened much more than a year ago.
Stosur lost in the first round in front of the home fans at the 2012 Australian Open. She lost in the second round at Wimbledon, then again in the first round at the London Olympics.
Kim Clijsters began the last tournament of her career by winning her 22nd consecutive U.S. Open match, beating 16-year-old American wild card Victoria Duval 6-3, 6-1.
Clijsters has left Flushing Meadows with the title each of the last three times she played – in 2005, 2009 and 2010. She missed the Grand Slam tournament in 2011 because of an injured stomach muscle.
The 29-year-old Belgian is retiring after this year’s U.S. Open.
Ninth-seeded Li Na reached the second round for the first time since 2009, beating Britain’s Heather Watson 6-2, 6-3. She’s coming off a victory in Cincinnati, her first title since the 2011 French Open.
Li was a top-10 seed when she lost in the first round at Flushing Meadows in each of the previous two years.
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