Kuznetsova Tastes Victory in U.S. Open, Federer Clings to Defending Champion Title

Svetlana Kuznetsova shook off an early break and rallied to a 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory over Sorana Cirstea on Wednesday in the second round of the U.S. Open.

Kuznetsova, the 2004 champion and No. 3 seed this year, trailed 4-2 in the opening set before getting back on serve and eventually forcing a tiebreak that she dominated against her 18-year-old opponent.

She cruised to a 5-0 lead in the second and closed out the match in 1 hour, 13 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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No. 15 seed Patty Schnyder also moved into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the U.S. Open girls' champion two years ago.

In just her fourth career Grand Slam event, Cirstea is forging a bit of a bad habit. Cirstea, who made her debut at a major in this year's Australian Open, led there by a break three times in the opening set against current world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, only to fall 7-5, 6-3 in the first-round match.

She reached the second round at the French Open and Wimbledon.

The afternoon session on Day 3 at the U.S. Open also featured second-seeded Jelena Jankovic in a second-round match, while No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic and fifth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko were slated for first-round matchups on the men's side.

Andy Roddick, who has battled a shoulder injury this summer that led him to skip the Beijing Olympics, was scheduled to close out the night session Wednesday with a first-round match against Fabrice Santoro. The third night traditionally showcases the first men's match of the second round, but this year that was saved until Thursday.

All women's matches Wednesday were second-round pairings — including No. 23 Lindsay Davenport against Alisa Kleybanova in the first match at night.

Roger Federer had a stellar showing under the lights Tuesday as he played the unfamiliar role of No. 2 seed.

For a while in the first set, Federer couldn't shake Maximo Gonzalez, who was making his Flushing Meadows debut. No easy task any time, but way worse to get your feet wet against the man that had been ranked first in the world for 4 1/2 years until last week.

"One or 2 is always pretty much the same thing," the 27-year-old Federer said of his seeding. "The change I feel is fans are really supporting me and telling me I'm still No. 1 and still the best."

Federer ran off wins in 10 straight games over three sets to turn a competitive match into the rout everyone expected. It took only 1 hour, 22 minutes for Federer to look familiarly fearsome in a dominating 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 win.