- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NEW YORK — If Novak Djokovic’s shoulder still was bothering him, it didn’t show.

Then again, he was barely around long enough to tell. He spent 44 minutes on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court Tuesday, taking a 6-0, 5-1 lead in his first-round match at the U.S. Open against Ireland’s Conor Niland before Niland retired because of food poisoning.

It wasn’t much of a test for the top-seeded Djokovic, who pulled out with an ailing shoulder while trailing in the second set of the Cincinnati Masters final Aug. 21.

In his first match since, Djokovic won the first seven games, then after Niland won his single game, Djokovic tore off 16 points in a row before Niland retired. Djokovic moved to 58-2 on the year and this might have been the easiest of them all.

“Throughout the whole week I was carrying the pain and discomfort in my shoulder,” Djokovic said. “After Cincinnati, I took some time off. I did everything to recover the shoulder. Today, I didn’t feel any pain. I served well and I played well and I didn’t have any concerns.”

Winning almost as easily Tuesday was the women’s No. 1 seed, Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain, 6-3, 6-1.

Still in search of her first major title, Wozniacki is at the end of what some have viewed as a rough summer, losing her first match at both Toronto and Cincinnati - considered key leadups to the year’s last Grand Slam. But last week, she won for the fourth straight year at New Haven, and she feels as if things are back on track.

“I know that everyone has to write their stories, but I think we should move on,” she said. “Ask me about something else, something more interesting.”

Elsewhere on the second day at the U.S. Open, No. 4 seed Victoria Azarenka defeated Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-1, 6-3. She reached her first Grand Slam semi this year at Wimbledon and is another good candidate to win in a wide-open women’s field.

Serena William, seeded 28th but always a big threat, had a night match Tuesday, as did defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal.

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