NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The 2017 US Open got underway Monday with near-perfect weather and the anticipation surrounding an intriguing match.
Later in the evening, No. 2 seed Simona Halep was to take on former No. 1 and five-time major champion Maria Sharapova, who was given a wild-card entry to the US Open after returning from a 15-month doping ban. Halep is winless against Sharapova in six previous meetings.
Many fans were excited to see Sharapova back on the court.
“I think she served her time, I think it was a little bit harsh, but whatever she took it like a champ,” one fan said.
“It’ll be nice to see her, it’ll be interesting, it’ll be a tough first round match for her,” another fan said.
“I think she learned her lesson and it’s good to have a great player like her back,” another fan said.
Play began in the day session in Arthur Ashe Stadium with Wimbledon champ Garbine Muguruza easily advancing to the second round, needing just an hour to beat American Varvara Lepchenko, 6-0, 6-3.
The third-seeded Spaniard looked efficient, firing 16 winners, twice as many as her opponent.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova downed former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 7-5, to advance.
Kvitova, the No. 13 seed, blasted 28 winners and converted nearly three-quarters of her first-serve points en route to the victory.
Other matches involving seeded players to finish quickly on Monday included No. 18 Caroline Garcia of France defeating Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-1, and 31st-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia defeating Italian Camila Giorgi 6-3-6-4.
Other completed matches on Monday’s opening day of the tournament included American wild card Sofia Kenin defeating 32nd-seeded American Lauren Davis 7-5, 7-5; Alize Cornet of France defeating Brit Heather Watson 6-4, 6-4; Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic beating Misa Eguchi of Japan 6-2, 6-2; and American Sachia Vickery defeating Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
On the men’s side, 12th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta defeated American Evan King 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (5); Kyle Edmund of Great Britain defeated No. 32 Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-5, 6-3; and British qualifier Cameron Norrie defeated Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who retired after dropping the first two sets 7-6 (7), 6-1.
Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open men’s champion, was to take on American Tennys Sandrge and seven-time major champion Venus Williams was to square off with Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia later in the day.
Other big names on Monday’s schedule include No. 4 Alexander Zverev and top American John Isner.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)