FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. -- Vera Zvonareva was among the early women's winners in third-round play Friday at the U.S. Open.
The second-seeded Zvonareva, last year's runner-up to Kim Clijsters, earned a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues to open play at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
A two-time winner this year, Zvonareva will next take on the winner between Sabine Lisicki of Germany and American Irina Falconi. Zvonareva has had a fairly strong summer after a third-round exit at Wimbledon, winning in Baku with a runner-up finish in her next event at Carlsbad and a semifinal appearance at the U.S. Open tuneup in Cincinnati. She was also a third-round loser in Toronto.
Monica Niculescu of Romania and Germany's Angelique Kerber were also early winners on Friday at Flushing Meadows. Niculescu thumped Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 6-0, 6-1, and will next face Kerber, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva.
Other third-round matches Friday include 2006 champion Maria Sharapova against Italy's Flavia Pennetta and ninth-seeded Samantha Stosur against Russia's Nadia Petrova. Sharapova, seeded third this year, was the runner-up at Wimbledon earlier this summer and is coming off a title in Cincinnati last month.
Also, Julia Goerges of Germany will meet China's Peng Shuai, and the opening night match at Ashe Stadium will feature American Christina McHale against Russian Maria Kirilenko. McHale knocked out eighth-seeded Marion Bartoli in the second round.