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US Open 2011: Federer, Fish, Williams and Sharapova Advance On Day 1

The favorites advanced in Monday's first round of play at the US Open, but not without some struggles on the part of Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer.

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Roger Federer was surprised a bit by his unranked opponent on Monday night, but prevailed and joined some other big names in winning their first round US Open matches. Federer defeated Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Monday evening. He struggled a bit in his first two sets, but took the third without much trouble. It was Federer's 224th career Grand Slam victory.

Maria Sharapova also was a bit shaky in her first round match against Heather Watson of Great Britian. Watson won the first set 6-3, but Sharapova rebounded and took the next two 7-5, 6-3 for the win.

In comparison, Venus Williams won her opening round match handily, defeating Vesna Dolonts in just two sets, 6-4, 6-3. American Mardy Fish, who tennis insiders believe is in for a breakout performance at the US Open, also won easily, defeating Tobias Kamke 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.

For all more U.S. Open coverage, head over to SB Nation Tennis and The Daily Forehand