(August 25, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWs – Night session on day one of the 2014 US Open had Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic with easy victories. Sharapova won the last 10 games of her match to dismiss friend Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-0, making a return to Flushing Meadows as she missed last year’s event due to an injured right shoulder.
“I thought there was a few times where I could have broken her in the beginning of the match. But I think she started off playing well and solid,” Sharapova said. “Despite not taking those opportunities in a couple of her service games, I felt pretty good, especially towards the end of the match.”
No. 113 Kirilenko, never won another game after taking a 4-2 lead. She had not played since Wimbledon.
“We spent a lot of time in the juniors away from the courts practicing a lot together, competing against each other,” Sharapova said. “We certainly have a big history together. But when you go out on the court, it’s always that fine line between, of course you want to be the winner, you have to face that person as a competitor, not someone that you’ve known for years and developed a friendship with. It’s always a tricky balance, I guess.”
Djokovic cruised past a 22-year-old Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in his first main draw at Flushing Meadows.
“I thought I hit the ball very well throughout the whole match,” Djokovic said. “Diego is a talented player; very quick on the court. He has to work on his serve a little bit more, I feel. He didn’t put so much pressure on his serve. You know, he’s not so tall so it’s difficult for him to serve well. But it was obviously first big match for him, first hard court Grand Slam match on the biggest stadium in the night session. I’m sure he was a bit nervous. I thought he played well. I was happy with the first match.”
Djokovic has reached the US Open final four straight years running. The Serbian won the event back in 2011 and is currently No. 1.
“It’s definitely a privilege, you know, and responsibility,’ Djokovic said of being the top seed.. “Pressure is part of the sport. I’m used to it already