Seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova needed nearly two hours to win her first match at the Grand Slam tournament that has always bedeviled her.
The 2011 Wimbledon champ beat 92nd-ranked Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 on Tuesday at the U.S. Open. Kvitova has reached at least the semifinals at the other three major events. She has never made it past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
The final set was closer than the score in this rare matchup of two lefties. After Kvitova went up a break at 2-0, Doi had a chance to break right back but couldn't convert.
Two years ago, Kvitova became the first reigning Wimbledon women's champion to lose her first U.S. Open match in the same season. On a windy day at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Czech star was in danger of another early exit when she made 15 unforced errors in the second set.
But she's hardly fazed by three-set matches. Kvitova recently played six straight across three tournaments, winning four of them.
Doi fell to 0-4 again...