Top seed Dinara Safina was almost taken out in the first round of the US Open, while her fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded sixth, advanced to the second round much more easily.
The world No.1 Safina double faulted to lose the first set tiebreak, having had four set points, to 167th-ranked Olivia Rogowska of Australia. Safina then hit back to win the second set, but again had to dig deep in the third set to eventually clinch a 6-7(5) 6-2 6-4 victory.
Sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, was broken early in her first-round match against Julia Goerges, but recovered to score a 6-3 6-2 victory.
Safina’s struggle in the first round has only confirmed how vulnerable even the top players are, showing the absolute openness of the women’s draw.
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