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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Serena puts on style
Serena Williams
Serena Williams thrashed Sandra Kleinova at the US Open after stunning the New York crowd with her most bizarre outfit to date.

The third seed had little difficulty seeing off her Czech opponent 6-1 6-3 in 53 minutes, and will face compatriot Lindsay Lee-Waters in round two.

Williams dominated from the outset with huge serving and heavy groundstrokes.

But it was the former champion's denim skirt and knee-length boots that caught the imagination of the home crowd.

"I am finally getting to a point where I'm actually playing better and focusing better," said Williams. "I think I performed at a decent level."

Karolina Sprem was the first of the leading names to make an early exit as the tournament got under way.

I want to go to the end and try to get that trophy
Amelie Mauresmo
The 18th seed, who beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon, lost 6-3 2-6 6-4 to Jelena Kostanic.

Eighth seed Jennifer Capriati worried the home crowd before coming through 2-6 6-1 6-2 against Denisa Chladkova.

Capriati admitted she had been worried by her poor start and struggled with the conditions.

"It was a little bit scary there in the beginning," said Capriati.

"I had to make some adjustments, trying to find my range a little bit, and the wind was pretty difficult."

Amelie Mauresmo, seeded second, opened play after a 35-minute rain delay on the Arthur Ashe Court, and swept past American Marissa Irvin 6-4 6-2.

Mauresmo is ranked higher than ever at number two in the world but has still to win a Grand Slam event.

"I don't feel the pressure of being number two or number three seed or whatever," she said after her first-round win.

"My goal is still the same coming here as it was going to Wimbledon or the other Grand Slams. I want to go to the end and try to get that trophy."

Tenth seed Vera Zvonareva was the first of the Russian contenders to get through with a crushing 6-1 6-1 win over Hungary's Henrieta Nagyova.

Daniela Hantuchova needed two hours and 37 minutes to beat France's Camiile Pin in a titanic struggle on Court 11.

The Slovakian wasted two match points before she finally overcame Pin 1-6 7-6 7-6 (11-9).

French Open runner-up Elena Dementieva served 11 double faults but battled to a 2-6 6-1 6-2 victory over fellow Russian Dinara Safina.




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