Open joy for Britain as Baltacha exacts revenge

ELENA BALTACHA gave British tennis much-needed encouragement after storming into the second round of the US Open last night.

The British No1 powered to a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory over Petra Martic – reversing her first-round defeat to the Croatian at Wimbledon.

“I stayed really positive and I just kept putting her under pressure. I played very well,” the 27-year-old said.

Baltacha, world ranked 57, now takes on 27th seed Petra Kvitova in the second round.

Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters began the defence of her title with a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Greta Arn.

The second set raced to the first set in just 18 minutes but had to battle back from 4-0 down in the second to earn a second round clash with Australian Sally Peers.

Francesca Schiavone and Elena Dementieva are also through but Dinara Safina was knocked out by Daniela Hantuchova.

In the men’s, Chilean 27th seed Fernando Gonzalez was forced to retire with a knee injury when level at 7-6, 1-6, 0-1 with Croatian Ivan Dodig, although Andy Roddick, Nikolay Davydenko, Gael Monfils and Robin Soderling are all safely through.