- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NEW YORK — Over the first two days of the U.S. Open, the world’s largest tennis stadium turned into the world’s biggest bore.

There were 10 matches in 23,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium, all of them decided in straight sets.

There were 24 sets, only three of them as close as 6-4.

There were 191 games, 144 of them won by the players who advanced.

After one of Tuesday’s more emphatic blowouts, defending champion Novak Djokovic summed up the No. 1 mission for favorites in their early matches at the year’s final Grand Slam.

“It’s important for me,” he said, “to try to be as economical with the time I spend on the court as possible.”

Not a problem so far.

The No. 2 seed defeated Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 — a match in which Djokovic lost serve in the first game, then rolled off the next 12 to turn it into a laugher.

It was so bad that when Lorenzi broke through again to start the third set, he raised his hands to celebrate as if he’d just won the tournament. A brief moment of levity in an otherwise predictable night.

“It was very difficult to get into a point,” Lorenzi said. “If I tried to go forward, he passed very well. When I tried to play defense at the baseline, he missed very little. He always got the ball back. And so I never had anything to go on. And when he got going with his winners, he caused me other problems.”

Serena Williams followed the Djokovic match with a 6-1, 6-1 pasting of CoCo Vandeweghe. That capped off an evening that featured a grand total of 2 hours, 8 minutes of tennis on the main court. The last ball was hit shortly before 10 p.m. in a stadium famous for matches that often run well past midnight.

Williams, her hair jutting wildly from her headband, said it was hard to gauge how well she played given the blustery conditions on this brief night of tennis.

“I couldn’t really play my game. She couldn’t really play her game. It’s not the best opportunity to grade yourself,” she said.

On Wednesday, the search for drama continues when No. 23 Kim Clijsters, and No. 3 seeds Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray — who lost a combined 15 games in their first-round matches in Ashe — return to the show court.

No. 9 seed John Isner plays his first-round match in the stadium while fourth-seeded David Ferrer opens his tournament next door, in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

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