Fifth-ranked Petra Kvitova battled back from a shaky start to beat Polona Hercog, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, in the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday. The Czech player finished strong after toughing her way through a difficult first set against the world's No. 65 player.
Kvitova hasn't had a great year so far, losing in the semifinals of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament, but she can still make some noise at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Hercog gave her a nice challenge initially, but once Kvitova rounded into form, it became clear that she would advance.
Last year, Kvitova lost to Alexandra Dulgheru in the first round of the U.S. Open, not long after winning the title at Wimbledon. She's reached at least the semifinals of the three other major tournaments, but the 22-year-old hasn't gotten past the fourth round in New York City.