Angelique Kerber needed just over 30 minutes to get her pursuit of a first US Open off to a winning start Monday as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal prepared to make their bow late monday.
Second seed and Australian Open champion Kerber was leading Polona Hercog 6-0, 1-0 when the Slovenian called it quits, clearly wilting in the crushing 33-degree heat, having won just nine points.
“It´s not the way I wanted to win, but I am playing well and feeling good,” said the German star.
Hercog, ranked at 120, needed a lengthy medical timeout after five games of the opening set with a doctor and trainer called.
Kerber, who next faces either Alize Cornet of France or Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, insisted she will not be distracted by possibly dethroning Serena Williams as world number one by the end of the tournament.
Double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 6-3 while former world number one and two-time US Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki downed US qualifier Taylor Townsend 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.