posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 03:13 PM
On an oppressively humid Monday afternoon, second-seeded Amelie Mauresmo defeated American Marissa Irvin 6-4, 6-2 in the opening match of the U.S.
Mauresmo, the silver medalist at the Athens Olympics, waited out a 20-minute rain delay at the start and then wore down Irvin methodically. She hit 18
winners and had seven aces, six in the second set.
A semifinalist or better in eight of 12 tour events this year, including Wimbledon, Mauresmo overcame four double faults and won 77 percent of her
first-serve points. She converted all four of her break-point opportunities and finished the match in 1 hour, 13 minutes.
Mauresmo is one of three players in the field who could overtake Justine Henin-Hardenne for No. 1 in the rankings based on results at the Open. The
others are Lindsay Davenport, perhaps the hottest player in the field with four straight hard-court tournament victories, and Anastasia Myskina, the
French Open champion.
In other early matches, former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez lost to No. 31 seed Maria Vento-Kabchi 0-6, 6-2, 6-3; Ai Sugiyama, seeded No. 12,
took advantage of 38 unforced errors and defeated Teryn Ashley 7-5, 6-2; Gisela Dulko defeated Tamarine Tanasugarn 7-6 (3), 6-3; and Julia Vakulenko
defeated two-time NCAA champion Amber Liu 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.