(photo credit: AP [file])
Shahar Pe'er advanced to the second round of the US Open in impressive fashion on Tuesday, defeating Hungarian Agnes Szavay 6-2, 6-2.
The 22-year-old Israeli, who has dropped to number 64 in the WTA rankings, needed just over an hour to overcome the world No. 33, converting six of her nine break points.
Next up for Pe'er is the winner of the first round match between Varvara Lepchenko and Carla Suarez Navarro.
Dudi Sela, however, did not fare as well, losing his first round match to Kevin Kim of the United States 6-3, 0-6, 6-2, 6-2, despite the fact that his ATP ranking of 35 is far superior to Kim's 100.
It was a disappointing loss for Sela who managed to win all first-round matches in previous Grand Slam tournaments in 2009.
Meanwhile, Dinara Safina overcame a long, mistake-filled display of tennis Tuesday to barely avoid becoming the first top-seeded woman to be ousted in the first round of the US Open.
She defeated 167th-ranked Olivia Rogowska of Australia 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4 in a match that included 113 unforced errors, 24 double-faults and 15 service breaks over 2 hours, 35 minutes.
"I didn't break any rackets and didn't get any warnings," Safina said, when asked if there were any silver linings. "That's already positive."
She overcame a 3-0 deficit in the third set to avoid becoming the first top seed to be ousted in the first round of any Grand Slam since Martina Hingis lost 6-4, 6-2 to Ruano Pascual at Wimbledon in 2001.
Safina served out her final game at love, forcing errors on Rogowska's ground strokes during one of the top-seeded player's few sustained runs of consistency.
Most of the rest looked like it belonged at Central Park, not Arthur Ashe Stadium, and often, it was more entertaining to watch Safina's coach, Zeljko Krajan, slumping, scowling, shaking his head and watching the whole thing in disbelief from his lonely seat in the stands.
Safina moves on, but all the questions about her worthiness as the world's No. 1 player will almost certainly gather steam.
No. 2 Serena Williams has won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. Safina doesn't yet have a career Grand Slam victory, getting blown out in all three finals she's been in.