Top seed Roger Federer started his quest for a sixth U.S. Open championship with a three-set victory over American Donald Young Monday night.
Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray was also an easy first-round winner at the final major tournament of the season.
The 17-time Grand Slam king Federer, who captured his seventh Wimbledon title last month, needed just over 1 1/2 hours to beat Young, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The super Swiss, who is tied with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras with five U.S. Open titles, is also going for his seventh championship this year.
The last time Federer lost in the first round at a Grand Slam event was the 2003 French Open.
The third-seeded Murray struggled a bit early before cruising to a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 victory over 73rd-ranked Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. amid breezy conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"I didn't serve very well. Only lost seven games in three sets, so I must have done something well today," Murray said.
The British star Murray beat Federer in the gold-medal match at the London Olympic Games earlier this month and lost to Federer in the Wimbledon final last month.
Murray, who was the 2008 U.S. Open runner-up to the great Federer, will face Croat Ivan Dodig in the round of 64. Dodig whipped Japan's Hiroki Moriya 6-0, 6-1, 6-2.
Meanwhile, 12th-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic topped Australian Marinko Matosevic, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4; 16th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon upended American Michael Russell, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1; 17th-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori whipped Argentine Guido Andreozzi 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, and promising 19-year-old American Jack Sock took out ailing 22nd-seeded German Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2, 3-2, as Mayer retired, succumbing to dizziness on Monday.
American Mardy Fish, the No. 23 seed, topped Japan's Go Soeda, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2), 6-3; 24th-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers defeated American Denis Kudla 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); and No. 25 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain breezed by Portugal's Rui Machado, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
Two other seeded players, No. 30 Feliciano Lopez of Spain and No. 32 Jeremy Chardy of France, won in straight sets.
American veteran James Blake, a two-time quarterfinalist here, improved to 24-11 lifetime at the U.S. Open with a 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Slovak Lukas Lacko on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center where rain interrupted play for more than two hours on Day 1.
"Every time I come back here it's still sort of the goosebumps walking out on Louis Armstrong or Arthur Ashe," Blake said. "I'm excited, and I get a lot of ticket requests. I get to see my fans and friends having a good time. That definitely keeps my spirits up, keeps my head up throughout the whole match."
An all-American affair saw Tim Smyczek outlast Bobby Reynolds 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in last year's U.S. Open final. The Serbian slugger Djokovic is seeded second at this 2012 fortnight, while the Spanish great Nadal will miss the final major of the year because of knee problems.
Djokovic starts defense of his title Tuesday night at Ashe Stadium against Italy's Paolo Lorenzi. Andy Roddick, the 20th seed, takes on fellow American Rhyne Williams in the afternoon.