Home crowd favorite Jessica Pegula made the perfect start to her US Open campaign, beating underdog Camila Giorgi in straight sets.
Pegula made light work of her Italian opponent, breezing to a 6-2 6-2 opening-round victory in just an hour and 22 minutes.
The 29-year-old American is considered by many to be one of the frontrunners in a wide-open women’s field and this impressive victory would have done little to dissuade fans of her chances of going far at Flushing Meadows.
Pegula took the initiative early in the opening set when she broke Giorgi’s serve at the first time of asking, winning the very first game of the match. The world No. 3 didn’t look back after this and continued to power on to take the first set.
Giorgi put up a more stubborn defense in the second set, but buoyed by the home crowd support Pegula was eventually able to overpower her opponent to take the final set by the same score.
“It’s nice that even though I am the top American, I can’t imagine carrying a ton of pressure if it was only me,” Pegula said of the early success of the US women post-match.
“It’s nice that there is a lot of us that are doing well and that have chances to go deep here.
“It’s a good vibe right now. I hope we can have good success at this tournament for sure,” Pegula added.
Elsewhere on the women’s side of the draw, Pegula’s compatriot Madison Keys was also able to make her way into the second round.
Keys came up against Dutch player Arantxa Rus in the opening round and like Pegula, was able to advance with a comfortable victory – winning the match 6-2 6-4.
Keys, ranked No. 17 in the world, seized control of the match early on, winning the first four games of the encounter while storming to take the first set 6-2.
The second set was more of a contest, but Keys’ class showed as she found a way to get past her 32-year-old opponent.
Pegula will face either Romania’s Patricia Maria Țig or Canada’s Rebecca Marino in the second round, while Keys will come up against Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer.
Wild card winner
On the men’s side of the draw, American wild card Michael Mmoh delivered one of the biggest upsets of the US Open so far with a win against Karen Khachanov.
Khachanov is ranked No. 11 in the world but was returning to the court for the first time since losing in the quarterfinals of the French Open following injury troubles.
Buoyed by the home crowd, Mmoh stormed to a 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory to march onto round two – matching his best ever US Open result.
Mmoh will take on fellow US player John Isner in the next round after the veteran breezed to victory against Facundo Diaz Acosta in straight sets.
Playing in his last ever tournament, the 38-year-old Isner rolled back the years to take a 6-4 6-3 7-6 win against his Argentinian opponent.