New York – Argentine Juan Martin del Potro scored a convincing win in his first U.S. Open match since capturing the title two years ago, brushing aside Italy's Filippo Volandri 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday afternoon.
Del Potro played very solidly and with razor-sharp concentration against his outclassed opponent to take the first-round match in just one hour and 28 minutes.
Employing the crushing baseline game that made him a surprise winner of this Grand Slam event in 2009 and catapulted him into the top five in the world rankings, Del Potro got a break of serve midway through the first set and never looked back.
The statistics reflected the Argentine's complete domination of the match, as Del Potro struck 38 winners to Volandri's nine.
"I feel really glad. Was a short match, you know ... but I served well. I was improving my game during the match. And so be playing here after win here, it's special," Del Potro told reporters.
"It's my favorite tournament, so I'm really happy to take the opportunity to play here again."
Next up for the Argentine in the second round will be countryman Diego Junqueira, whose opponent - Slovak Karol Beck - retired from their match after losing the first set 6-2.
Del Potro is favored to reach the quarterfinals, where he could meet Scotland's Andy Murray, the world No. 4.
Del Potro in 2009 became the second Argentine men's player (Guillermo Vilas) to win the U.S. Open, defeating the two greatest players of the past decade - Spain's Rafael Nadal and Switzerland's Roger Federer - in the semifinals and final, respectively, to capture the title.
He also was the first Argentine to win the tournament on its current hard-court surface, but he was unable to attempt a title defense in 2010 because he had not yet fully recovered after undergoing wrist surgery earlier that year.
Del Potro's ranking fell to as low as 485, but he has quickly climbed back into the top 20 with several strong results in 2011.
The U.S. Open is the last of the four Grand Slam events on the tennis calendar.