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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 23:23 GMT 00:23 UK
US Open 2007
Flushing Meadows, New York, 27 August-9 September




US Open, Flushing Meadows

First round result:

M SHARAPOVA (Rus) bt R Vinci (Ita)

6-0 6-1

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By Piers Newbery

Second set:

Sharapova 6-1 Vinci
Crash, bang and no little wallop sees Sharapova seal victory in 50 minutes, despite successive double faults on her first two match points. The opposition may not have been that tough but it was still a very encouraging start for the champion. Nice dress too.

Sharapova 5-1 Vinci
Will Sharapova take pity on Vinci? Nope. She smacks a brilliant forehand down the line on the opening point before the crowd get behind the Italian at 30-30. A fairly streaky volley drifts onto the line to give Vinci game point and she breaks into a huge smile as the crowd goes mildly bananas. Sharapova has no truck with this nonsense and forces an error, to a large groan from the people of New York.

A blistering Vinci winner then gets her to game point again and when she converts it the Italian leaps into the air, punches her fist and milks the applause of the locals. All very odd.

Sharapova 5-0 Vinci
And Sharapova's excellent serving continues as she holds to love.

Sharapova 4-0 Vinci
Oh dear. A double fault and a wayward forehand give up another break from Vinci. In fairness, she's not exactly playing badly when she can get to the ball, it just doesn't happen very often.

Sharapova 3-0 Vinci
Someone needs to step in and stop this, there are children watching. Sharapova wins game number nine. "You're simply the best...." wails Tina Turner.

Sharapova 2-0 Vinci
Sharapova breaks. The dreaded double bagel looms for Vinci.

Sharapova 1-0 Vinci
A lob volley and a Hawkeye challenge that is spot on are the highlights as Sharapova reels off her seventh straight game. The unusually quiet New York crowd shows the odd sign of getting behind Vinci as she battles on gamely.


First set:

Sharapova 6-0 Vinci
The set goes to Sharapova when she fires another superb winner past the stranded Vinci, drawing a gasp from the fans on Arthur Ashe Stadium. "Girl, you really got me..." sings the Kinks' Ray Davies over the PA.

Sharapova 5-0 Vinci
Not much noise from the crowd but Sharapova is making up for it with plenty of grunting. A comfortable hold and the set is all but hers. They should play the "Rocky" theme on the changeover because she's giving Vinci a right old pasting.

Sharapova 4-0 Vinci
The stadium PA plays Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" on the changeover. Classy. Vinci gamely tries a bit more serve-volleying but she might want to get some protective clothing if she's going to carry on with it. Sharapova really is playing well and breaks again, this time on the second deuce.

Sharapova 3-0 Vinci
Blimey, Shazza (as the Aussies call her) looks like she's just had a furious argument with someone and is taking it out on poor Vinci. The Russian has tinkered with her service action this year and it seems to be working. The forehand is in good shape too and she cracks away one winner that prompts a trademark shriek. Vinci does win a Hawkeye challenge and gives a little fist pump to celebrate. Nice. Sharapova then thumps a forehand past her.

Sharapova 2-0 Vinci
Sharapova is already unloading on the return, forcing a couple of errors from Vinci who is still trying to get that sliced backhand working. A serve-volley sees the Italian save a first break point but she dumps a forehand into the net on the next point and it's a break for Sharapova.

Sharapova 1-0 Vinci
The champion opens with a solid service game and there is no sign of the shoulder injury that has disrupted her season. Vinci likes a bit of the old sliced backhand, which doesn't get her very far.

0025: Sharapova enters the arena wearing what our American friends call her "game face". She is also wearing the much-hyped red dress. It looks very nice.

0020: It's the first time these two players have met. Vinci is ranked 51 in the world but has been as high as 37, and has a consistent record at Flushing Meadows where she has lost in the first round on all four occasions she has played there.

0015: Evening all. Or rather morning. The US Open only truly gets under way when Maria Sharapova unveils her latest dress, so excitement is at fever pitch as she prepares to take on Roberta Vinci in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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