New York: Sania Mirza cleared the first hurdle at the US Open qualifiers, scoring an easy straight-set win over Russian Ksenia Lykina.
The 160-ranked Sania sailed past her opponent, ranked 761 places below her, 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round of the qualifying event.
For the first time ever since her breakthrough campaign at Australian open in 2005, Sania has been forced to earn an entry into the singles main draw of a Grand Slam.
Sania has another Russian as her next opponent in Elena Bovina, who ousted 15th seed German Tatjana Malek.
Bovina came from a set down to beat Malek 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-1 in her opening round match.