New York | Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber shrugged off sweltering temperatures to reach the US Open second round Monday as French Open champion Garbine Muguruza survived a worrying health scare.
Nadal, the 2010 and 2013 champion, took his perfect first round record in New York to 12-0 with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
The Spaniard’s reward for a fifth win in five meetings against the Russian-born player is a match-up with Italian veteran Andreas Seppi.
A wrist injury forced Nadal into an early retirement at the French Open and sidelined him from Wimbledon before a gold medal run in the doubles at the Olympics helped ease his misery.
Kerber needed just over 30 minutes to get her pursuit of a first US Open title off to a winning start.
The second seed and Australian Open champion was leading Polona Hercog 6-0, 1-0 when the Slovenian called it quits, clearly wilting in the 33-degree heat, having won just nine points.
Kerber, a semi-finalist in 2011, next faces Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia.
Spanish third seed Muguruza carved out a gritty 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens, ranked at 137.
But the French Open champion needed courtside treatment from a doctor after dropping the first set on the Louis Armstrong Court.
The consultation certainly worked as she reeled off the next seven games to lay the foundation for her win.
Muguruza plays Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia for a place in the last 32.
French 13th seed Richard Gasquet, a semi-finalist three years ago, was the day’s biggest casualty.
He went down to 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to British world number 84 Kyle Edmund.
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