By Karen Price | Aug. 28, 2018, 11:58 p.m. (ET)
Claire Liu returns the ball during her women's singles first-round match at the 2018 US Open on Aug. 27, 2018 in Flushing, New York.

 

Some of the biggest names in tennis lead the 17 Americans moving on to the round of 64 at this year’s US Open tournament following the conclusion of the first round in Flushing, New York.

The competition started on Monday with wins by three of Team USA’s biggest stars.

Fresh off finishing as the runner-up at Wimbledon, six-time US Open champion and four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams, ranked 17th in this year’s tournament, easily moved past her first opponent, beating Poland’s Magda Linette 6-4, 6-0.

Last year’s US Open champion, 2016 Olympian Sloane Stephens, was right there with her, opening her title defense with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Evgeniya Rodina of Russia.

And two-time US Open winner Venus Williams, a five-time Olympian and five-time Olympic medalist, also passed through the first round, defeating Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 to keep her streak alive of 20 US Open appearances without a first-round loss.

In other U.S. women’s action Monday, 2014 Youth Olympian Sofia Kenin defeated countrywoman Madison Brengle, Claire Liu beat Polona Hercog of Slovenia, and Vania King beat Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

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Then on Tuesday, on a scorching day that caused the USTA to issue an extreme heat policy as temperatures hit 98 degrees during the day, 2017 US Open runner-up and 2016 Olympian Madison Keys, seeded 14th, made it through to round two with a 6-4, 6-4 win over France’s Pauline Parmentier in one of the last matches of the evening.

Also Tuesday, Francesca Di Lorenzo defeated 2012 U.S. Olympian Christina McHale, Taylor Townsend beat countrywoman Amanda Anisimova, and Bernarda Pera topped Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

In the biggest upset for U.S. athletes in the first round, No. 24 CoCo Vandeweghe fell 6-3, 7-6 (3) to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium on Tuesday. Vandeweghe, a 2016 Olympian, has been battling sickness and injuries all season.

On the men’s side, No. 11 John Isner and No. 18 Jack Sock got off to strong starts on Monday. Isner, a 2012 Olympian who reached his first Grand Slam semifinal last month at Wimbledon but lost after 6 hours, 36 minutes, led off with a straight sets win over fellow American Bradley Klahn, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4, while Sock, a gold and bronze medalist in doubles events at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, dispatched Argentina’s Guido Andreozzi 6-0, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Also on Monday, Taylor Fritz, 20, came back after dropping the first two sets to Germany’s Mischa Zverev and won in a stunning comeback, 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-2, in a match that lasted 3 hours, 48 minutes.

Rounding out the competition, Steve Johnson defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan and Denis Kudla moved on over Matteo Berrettini of Italy.

Then on Tuesday, 20-year-old unseeded Frances Tiafoe, who lost in the third round at Wimbledon, notched his first US Open main draw victory with an upset win over No. 29 seed Adrian Mannarino of France, 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Tennys Sandgren also beat Viktor Troicki of Serbia in straight sets on Tuesday.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.