NEW YORK // Beatrice Capra, the American teenager, gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about at the US Open yesterday by knocking out France's Aravane Rezai, the 18th seed, in the second round. The 18-year-old, who is making her main tour and Grand Slam debut in New York, only secured her place in the tournament by winning an eight-woman USTA wild card play-off.
But the world No 371 held her nerve to win 7-5 2-6 6-3 on Grandstand Court after Rezai threatened to come back from 4-1 down in the decider. Capra's fellow American Melanie Oudin reached the quarter-finals as a 17-year-old last year and Capra admitted: "Melanie is such an inspiration to me. Last year I watched every match of hers. "I played her the year before in the juniors and then there she was, making the quarter-finals of the US Open."
Capra could now in the third round face former champion Maria Sharapova, whom Oudin also beat at the same stage 12 months ago. "I don't even want to think about that right now," Capra added. "But it would be so amazing if I got to play on Arthur Ashe Stadium. I can't believe that I just won my first two matches here. I'm just overwhelmed, I'm so excited. I was so nervous going out there but I had a lot of support and I think that helped me get through today."
Caroline Wozniacki, the top seed, who could face Capra in the fourth round, wasted no time in reaching the last 32, hammering Chang Kai-chen of Chinese Taipei 6-0 6-0 in 47 minutes. Wozniacki, who lost to Kim Clijsters in last year's final, has dropped just two games in her first two matches. Vera Zvonareva, the Wimbledon finalist, also moved into the third round with a victory over Germany's Sabine Lisicki.
Russia's Zvonareva cruised through the opening set but had to come back from a break down in the second to secure a 6-1 7-6 (7/5) victory after Lisicki served for the set at 5-4. "It got very windy and difficult to control the ball but I am glad the way I pulled it off in the end," said seventh seed Zvonareva, who lost to Serena Williams in her first Grand Slam final at the All England Club. "I always believe in myself, I always believe if I am playing my best tennis I can beat anyone on the other side of the net.
"I'm trying to take it one match at a time, there are a lot of tough opponents but I am trying to enjoying my game and do my best and we will see where it's going to take me." Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer, beat Julia Goerges 6-4 7-5, while the 22nd seed, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, lost in straight sets to Switzerland's Patty Schnyd. * Press Association