American Melanie Oudin, who last year made a surprise run to the quarterfinals of the tennis season’s final Grand Slam, and French Open champion Francesca Schiavone yesterday also advanced to the second round.
Federer, who had his five-year run as U.S. Open champion ended in last year’s final, was a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 winner over Argentina’s Brian Dabul at the National Tennis Center in New York. The second-seeded Swiss won in one hour, 33 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium to end the first day of play and advance to a second-round meeting with Andreas Beck.
“The path is long and rough, but I’m feeling good and we’ll see how it goes,” Federer said about his pursuit of a sixth U.S. Open title.
Williams, a two-time U.S. Open winner seeded third, was a 6-4, 6-1 winner against Roberta Vinci of Italy in the first match of the night session.
Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who is seeded ninth this year, beat Stephane Robert of France 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
“You wake up in the morning and you put what you can into that single day,” Roddick, who turned 28 yesterday, said at a post-match news conference. “I know I’m probably closer to finished than I am to the start. But I don’t know. It’s a number.”
Today, No. 4 seed Jelena Jankovic opens play against Simona Halep of Romania, followed by No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic’s meeting with fellow Serb Viktor Troicki. Russia’s Maria Sharapova plays Jarmila Groth.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal starts the evening session at Arthur Ashe stadium against Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili, followed by a match between No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and American Chelsey Gullickson.
Clijsters, the No. 2 seed from Belgium who won last year’s tournament as a wild-card entry after coming back from retirement, won 6-0, 7-5 against Hungary’s Greta Arn. She took the first set in 18 minutes and came back from a 4-0 deficit in the second set to wrap up the match.
“She started going for a little bit more, playing a little bit more with some risks,” Clijsters said at a news conference about her early second-set struggles. “She kind of put me under pressure a little bit where it should have been the other way around.”
Clijsters had 21 winners, compared with 11 for Arn. She’ll play in the second round against Australia’s Sally Peers.
Williams, whose younger sister Serena pulled out of the tournament after having foot surgery, next plays Canada’s Rebecca Marino. Williams is the top-seeded American in the women’s draw and won U.S. Open titles in 2000 and 2001.
Oudin, an unseeded 18-year-old, beat Olga Savchuk of Ukraine 6-3, 6-0 in the first match of opening day on the main court. Oudin, ranked 43rd on the WTA Tour, will next play Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko.
“It felt so good to be out there again and hearing the crowd, just being on Ashe again,” Oudin, who played her final four matches in the stadium a year ago, said at a news conference. “I was definitely nervous. My stomach felt a little bit funny in the beginning of the match, but I loosened up and I think it got a lot better in the second set.”
Schiavone, the No. 6 seed from Italy, beat Japan’s Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-0 on the Grandstand court, posting 28 winners to Morita’s six. The French Open champion will play Italy’s Maria Elena Camerin in the second round.
Robin Soderling, the men’s fifth seed from Sweden, needed five sets to oust qualifier Andreas Haider-Maurer of Austria 7-5, 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 5-7, 6-4. He’d meet Federer in the finals if both advance that far. Soderling knocked off the 16-time Grand Slam champion in four sets during the quarterfinals of the 2010 French Open.
Sixth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko beat American Michael Russell 6-4, 6-1, 6-3; Marin Cilic, a Croatian seeded 11th, topped Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko 7-5, 6-3, 6-1; Juan Carlos Ferrero, the No. 22 seed from Spain, defeated Slovakia’s Martin Klizan 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, and 17th seed Gael Monfils of France needed five sets to overcome American Robert Kendrick 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4.
In women’s matches, fifth seed Samantha Stosur of Australia beat Russia’s Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1; Elena Dementieva of Russia, the 12th seed and the 2004 U.S. Open runner-up, ousted Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-1, 6-2; Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, seeded 28th, topped Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; 16th-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel defeated Jelena Kostanic Tosic of Croatia 6-4, 7-5, and 13th- seeded Marion Bartoli of France overcame Edina Gallovits of Romania 6-3, 6-2.