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Nadal, Muguruza record contrasting wins in US Open first round

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nadalSpanish great Rafael Nadal cruised to victory in his first round match against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin at the US Open yesterday. The Spaniard dominated his match against Istomin, vanquishing him in three straight sets 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

Nadal was assured and focused throughout the 126 minute match, consistently placing his shots well against an opponent who he has beaten plenty of times in the past.

The Spaniard will next go up against Italy's Andreas Seppi, who won his first match against French player Stephane Robert 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Speaking after his win, Nadal said, “My serve worked well almost all the time. I am hitting the backhand very well, but it's true that the forehand, I need time. I need confidence and I need to keep practising the forehand.”

Nadal's compatriot Garbine Muguruza, ranked No.3 in the women's event, lost her first set against Belgian 21-year-old newcomer Elise Mertens 6-2, but came back in the next two sets 6-0 and 6-3 to take the match. Against a player making her Grand Slam debut, Muguruza's problems were laid bare in an opening set containing 17 unforced errors.

Muguruza will next play Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova, ranked No.48, who defeated Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-3, 6-3.

The reigning French Open champion shared after her win, "Well, it happens more in the Grand Slams at the beginning of the rounds because there's a lot of people and sometimes you don't know the opponents. Today was this sort of case. I went to the court and I didn't really know the opponent. You play and you do your stuff. You kind of see a little bit during the match how she plays, but you cannot know anything before."

The tourney has more than $36 million in prize money up for grabs and is being played on hard courts at the remodelled Arthur Ashe complex, which now has a retractable roof that cost $150 million to reconfigure.

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