Svitolina eases into US Open second round

"I was just trying to fight for every ball. You can't win if you're not mentally strong,” Svitolina said after beating 42nd-ranked Czech Katerina Siniakova in her first round match at the US Open.

Ukraine's Svitolina held off 42nd-ranked Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-0, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3.   -  AFP

Ukraine's Svitolina, seeking her sixth title of the year and first Grand Slam crown, held off 42nd-ranked Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-0, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 to sail through to the second round at the US Open.

There were 87 matches scheduled Wednesday in the year's final Grand Slam event after rain washed out most of Tuesday's agenda, 11 of them halted first-round affairs.

Former world number one Maria Sharapova, who in her Grand Slam return from a 15-month doping ban upset second-ranked Simona Halep, was set to face Hungary's 59th-ranked Timea Babos in a later second-round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, tested positive for blood booster meldonium in the 2016 Australian Open, her most recent Grand Slam appearance until this week.

She played only one hardcourt tuneup match due to a forearm injury but powered past one of seven contenders for the world number one ranking still in the field.

Another of those is Svitolina, who dropped six of nine tie-breaker points when her match resumed, but survived a third set, breaking for a 4-2 edge and serving out for the victory.

"It was a little bit unlucky to stop because I was playing good," Svitolina said. "Today was a little bit of a mess in my head. It was tough to keep my focus. I'm happy I could win the third set and play really good tennis.

"I was just trying to fight for every ball. You can't win if you're not mentally strong."

Rodina downs Bouchard

Russian Evgeniya Rodina beat 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 7-6(2), 6-1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium and will face fourth seed Elina Svitolina in round two.

Niculescu through to the second round

Romania's Monica Niculescu beat France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-2 in the first round.