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US Open: Dulgheru beats Wimbledon champ Kvitova!

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic became the first big casualty at the US Open, losing her opening round match to Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru, according to Eurosport.

Playing her first Grand Slam match since winning Wimbledon in July, the fifth-seed Kvitova made a whopping 52 unforced errors en route to a 7-6 6-3 loss to Dulgheru.

Rated at number 48 in the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) World Rankings, Dulgheru took one hour and thirty eight minutes of play to drive the fifth seeded Czech out of the Grand Slam tournament with ease.

Dulgheru will take on her fellow compatriot, Monica Niculescu, in the second round draws of the tournament on Thursday. Niculescu was successful against Patrica Mayr-Archleitner of Austria in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, in the opening round of the tournament.

On Monday evening, the Swiss superstar Roger Federer stepped back on the court where he has hoisted five US Open trophies, defeating Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the second round. “I enjoyed it a lot. I’m happy the US Open is up and running,” Federer said in an on court interview afterwards, according to usopen.org. “I don’t think I’ve ever played my best in the first round but it’s important to come through them and come up with a good feeling.” Federer’s win wasn’t as straightforward as the score-line indicates. The World No. 3 raced to a 5-1 lead in the first set, only to see his double break advantage evaporate after a combination of unforced errors on his end and tenacious play from his Colombian opponent. But Federer’s experience powered through, as he claimed the fifth break in 10 games to take the first set in 36 minutes.

Playing just her fourth tournament in 2011 and first match since a fourth-round loss to Tsvetana Pironkova at Wimbledon, Williams was troubled early by Dolonts, going down a break in the fifth game. The Russian’s lead was short-lived though, as Williams broke back in the subsequent game to even the set. Leading 5-4 and holding a second set point on Dolonts’ serve, the 31-year-old American hit a resounding backhand return to set up an open court volley, which she closed to take the first set in 40 minutes.

Williams made her move early in the second set, breaking Dolonts in the second game. She maintained her advantage by dictating play from the baseline, overmatching Dolonts with imposing serves and penetrating groundstrokes. Williams closed out the victory on her second match point to notch her 54th win on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the most of any player in history, male or female.

The loss ended a hectic day for Dolonts. With Hurricane Irene delaying flights into all New York City airports over the weekend, the Russian was unable to depart Moscow until 4am EST today and arrived on site 12 hours later, giving her four hours to prepare for the clash against Williams.

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