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Halep edges through but Radwanska rallies in New York

ESPN staff
August 25, 2014 « Di Maria joins United for British-record £59.7m | Froome drifts as Matthew takes Vuelta lead »
Simona Halep was made to work hard for her win by University of Virginia student Danielle Rose Collins © Getty Images
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Second seed Simona Halep survived a scare against home charge Danielle Rose Collins in the first round of the US Open, coming from a set down to clinch a tight 6-7(4) 6-1 6-2 victory.

Romanian Halep lost the opening set on court Arthur Asheon a tie-break, but recovered well to seal the next two sets, dropping just three games to her 20-year-old opponent in the process.

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"It was my childhood dream to play in a Grand Slam and to play in the US Open," University of Virginia student Collins said. "I got that off my bucket list. I obviously had an incredible experience taking a set off the No.2player in the world, which is a huge confidence boost.

"I think there are a lot of positive things to take from it. It can only go up from here for me. I don't think a lot of people were expecting me to take a set off of her. That's something I'll never forget."

After a feisty start to the battle the Marias, No.5 seed Maria Sharapova beat Russian compatriot Maria Kirileko 6-4 6-0, claiming 10 games in succession to book her spot in the second round.

It was not to be for British No.2 Johanna Konta, who lost in straight sets to Shahar Peer. Konta was defeated 6-2 6-3.

Venus Williams outlasted a pesky bee, with the help of three attendants, before putting away 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 2-6 6-3 6-3.

The pre-match buzz was all about the ages of the players - at a combined 77, it was believed to be the oldest for opponents in a women's Grand Slam pairing, the WTA said.

Then with the 19th-seeded Williams ahead 3-0 in the final set, an insect caused quite a stir. The bee flew close to Williams as she prepared to serve, and the two-time US Open champion tried to gently shoo it away with her racket.

Williams spent more than a minute, moving from sideline to sideline, as she waved her hand and blew at the bee. Even when the crowd shouted "Smash it!", Williams refused to take a swing.

Eventually, two ball persons and a helper came out with towels and corralled the bee and carried it off, before Williams completed victory.

Agnieszka Radwanska needed just 47 minutes to claim victory against her first round opponent Sharon Fichman as the fourth seed made a blistering start to her campaign.

Radwanska dropped just one game in her 6-1 6-0 win on court Louis Armstrong and proceeded to the second round with minimal fuss.

"We've known each other for a long time going back to the juniors, but we had never played against each other," Radwanska said. "The first match is always tricky, but today everything was working my way. It was a pretty good start for me."

Sloane Stephens breezed past Annika Beck 6-3 6-3 while Jelena Jankovic needed only 68 minutes to dispatch Bojana Jovanovski 6-2 6-3. Daniela Hantuchova is also through having beaten Romina Oprandi 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Johanna Larsson enjoyed the rare feat of a double-bagel victory, beating Virginie Razzano 6-0 6-0.

Angelique Kerber, the sixth seed, also needed three sets in the New York heat as she overcame Russian Ksenia Pervak 6-3 3-6 7-5 in the opening clash on Grandstand.

Andrea Petkovic is safely through following a 7-6(7) 1-6 6-3 win against Ons Jabeur while Kurumi Nara saw off Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak 6-2 6-1.

Fourteenth seed Lucie Safarova had no trouble defeating Timea Babos 6-4 7-5 and China's Saisai Zheng saw off Stefanie Voegele 1-6 6-2 6-2.

Shuai Peng got the better of Chinese compatriot Jie Zheng 6-3 6-3.

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