Day 1 of the 2013 U.S. Open went pretty much as scripted on Monday, as players got their first taste of the spotlight on the legendary courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows.
On the men’s side, second-seeded Rafael Nadal was the first big name to take care of business, as he routed American Ryan Harrison in straight sets (6-4, 6-2, 6-2). From the opening serve, Harrison—who had 34 unforced errors to Nadal’s 21—proved to be too under-matched against the 12-time major champion in Rafa Nadal.
Speaking of American player’s, 33-year-old James Blake held a conference early in the day to announce his retirement from professional tennis—a move that should prove to be a major blow to U.S. tennis moving forward, especially following Andy Roddick’s retirement in similar fashion at last year’s U.S. Open.
On the women’s side, two-time U.S. Open champion Venus Williams advanced through to second round for the 15th time in her career, as she beat No. 12 Kirsten Flipkens, 6-1, 6-2. Fellow American Sloane Stephens also advanced to the second round on Monday, though it took her a bit more effort to get there. After dropping the first set 4-6, Stephens rallied to win the final two sets, including a tie-beaker that went the distance it the third.
Looking ahead to tonight, Roger Federer and Serena Williams highlight a list of heavy-hitters that will look to get off to a strong start in what is the last major tournament of the year.