Venus and Clijsters make easy progress

Shocks were conspicuous by their absence on the opening day of the US Open, with Venus Williams and defending champion Kim Clijsters among the seeds enjoying a comfortable passage into the second round at Flushing Meadows.

Third seed Williams had not played since losing in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon due to a knee injury, but relied on all her big-match experience to beat Italy's Roberta Vinci 6-4 6-1 in the first evening match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.



There were occasional signs of her left knee causing Williams some pain, and she admitted: "It was doing pretty good until I landed on that leg.



"I was pretty happy with my game, I did everything pretty consistently and I had to because she didn't give me a lot of errors. But of course I'm looking to improve with every match."



World number one Serena Williams is absent with a foot injury of her own and Williams added: "It's not the same without two Williams (sisters). I have a lot of victory shoes to fill but I am trying."



Clijsters earlier conceded she no longer has the element of surprise on her side after recovering from 4-0 down in the second set against Greta Arn.



The second seed completed a remarkable return to the sport last year after previously retiring in 2007, beating Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in the final at Flushing Meadows in only her 14th match and third tournament of what she likes to call her "second career".



"I think last year the players didn't really know what to expect of me after having been off for so long," Clijsters said. "I also had a lot of questions in my mind, seeing how are the top players playing.



"I played a couple of tournaments leading up to the US Open but didn't play against any of the Williams sisters or (Maria) Sharapova, those big names.



"I then had a match in Toronto against (Jelena) Jankovic where I felt like I was hitting the ball well and I had chances to win. I lost a close match but that to me was obviously a match where I felt like 'Okay, I can still do it'."'



American Melanie Oudin, who reached the quarter-finals here last year as a 17-year-old, enjoyed a 6-3 6-0 victory over Olga Savchuk of Ukraine, and there were also easy victories for sixth seed Francesca Schiavone and 12th seed Elena Dementieva.



Fifth seed Samantha Stosur was made to work harder before eventually beating Russia's Elena Vesnina 3-6 7-6 6-1, while former world number one Dinara Safina, who was top seed here last year, bowed out after losing 6-3 6-4 to 24th seed Daniela Hantuchova.



Safina has been plagued by a back injury which has forced her to miss almost three months of the 2010 season - including Wimbledon - and is currently ranked 50th in the world.



Another former world number one looking to climb back up the rankings, Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, enjoyed a 6-3 6-2 win over Ekaterina Makarova.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears