Six-time champion Serena Williams made her return to the US Open with a clinical first-round win over Poland’s Magda Linette.
Williams, 36, missed her home Slam last year, giving birth to daughter Olympia shortly after the tournament started.
Opening Monday’s night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium, she won 6-4 6-0 against her 68th-ranked opponent.
The 17th seed will meet Germany’s Carina Witthoeft in the second round.
Williams is still on course to meet older sister Venus in the third round, although the prospect of facing world number one Simona Halep – her projected last-16 opponent – has disappeared after the Romanian’s shock defeat by Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.
Although she will face tougher challenges, Williams looks well placed to challenge for the record-equalling 24th Grand Slam on the evidence of her victory over Linette.
She put the Pole’s serve under pressure in a lengthy third game without being able to convert, going on to break it in the seventh.
After avoiding a brief scare when she was taken to deuce in the following game, she saw out the opening set without facing a break point.
Meanwhile Britain’s Andy Murray enjoyed a winning return to Grand Slam tennis as he fought back to beat Australia’s James Duckworth in the US Open first round.
The 31-year-old won 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-5 6-3 on the new Louis Armstrong Stadium at Flushing Meadows.
It was Murray’s first best-of-five sets match in 14 months, having had surgery on a long-term hip injury in January.
The Scot will play Spanish 31st seed Fernando Verdasco in the second round in New York.
“I was pumped to be back playing in a Slam again,” Murray said.
“At points in the match I didn’t play amazing. I’m not expecting to play my best tennis right now.
“But I’m happy to get through the match.”
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, has faced a long road to recovery after opting to have surgery, tentatively coming back during the grass-court season before deciding he still was not fit enough to play five sets at Wimbledon.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal also moved into the US Open second round after fellow Spaniard David Ferrer’s Grand Slam farewell was ruined by injury.
Nadal led 6-3 3-4 in Monday’s late tie on Arthur Ashe Stadium before Ferrer had to give up with a calf injury.
Ferrer, the 36-year-old former world number three, will retire after playing in Barcelona or Madrid next year, but says this will be his final Grand Slam.