Angelique Kerber enjoyed a comfortable first-round win at the US Open, defeating Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4, 6-4.

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The German, who won the 2016 tournament, looked at ease on Louis Armstrong Stadium, neatly sending her forehands into the corner and leaving her Australian opponent stranded.

She had a slight wobble towards the end, as Tomljanovic broke her serve and saved match point, but she held at the next opportunity to finish things off.

The 32-year-old has not played a competitive match since the Australian Open back in January due to a left-leg injury, but seemed to be moving well on the court.

Her serve was perhaps the weak spot of her performance, but with less than an hour and a half on court, she has plenty of time and energy to improve any elements of her game prior to her second-round clash.

Top seed Karolina Pliskova also cruised through, beating Anhelina Kalinina of the Ukraine 6-4, 6-0.

The Czech looked angry with herself at the end of the first set, having been 4-1 up, but regrouped to power through.

And her compatriot Petra Kvitova had a similarly uncomplicated time despite facing what would have been expected to be a tougher opponent in Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu, the world number 73.

The sixth seed recorded a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Elsewhere, Anastasija Sevastova beat American teenager Coco Gauff 6-3 5-7 6-4 to claim her first match win of the year on Monday.

In a ragged, scrappy affair packed with breaks, double faults and unforced errors, it was the 30-year-old Latvian who made one fewer mistake, collecting her first success of 2020 on the fourth match point when 16-year-old Gauff sent a timid return into the net.

It marked the first opening round exit from a grand slam for Gauff, a crowd favourite at Flushing Meadows pre-COVID-19 when spectators were allowed into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"I was just calm in the end," said Sevastova, a U.S. Open semifinalist in 2018. "Somehow I managed to be calm and stayed there and took my chances.

"I love being here, even in the bubble. I love the atmosphere, even now it doesn't matter I have just amazing memories from the years before.

And finally I won a match.

After dropping the opening set Gauff somehow managed to win the second despite being broken three times, registering seven double faults and committing 16 unforced errors.

But when it mattered it was the teenager showing far more composure than her 30-year-old opponent who was left smashing her racquet when Gauff broke her twice over the final four games and then held serve to level the contest.

The errors dropped and quality improved in a much tighter third set, Sevastova getting the only break at 5-4 to clinch victory

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