World No.1 Simona Halep got dumped out in the first round of the US Open for the second year running today.
Halep had entered into US Open as a favourite and on the back of title winning run at the Rogers Cup. But when Kaia Kanepi of Estonia took the first set in just 28 minutes, fears that Halep was going to capitulate resurfaced.
Halep, after showing bouts of frustration, came from a break down to level 4-4 in the second set, but Kanepi remained resolute as she powered to a 6-2, 6-4 victory.
Halep’s defeat means she is now the first ever world No.1 to lose in the opening round of the US Open. Her only consolation, however, will be that she gets to keep the No.1 ranking even after the tournament.
Kanepi, meanwhile, will play Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann, who drubbed Dalila Jakupović 6-3, 6-0, for a place in the third round.
Elsewhere, Belgium’s Elise Mertens needed three sets to get past a determined Kurumi Nara, winning 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 to advance to the second round, while seventh seed, Elina Svitolina defeated Sachia Vickery 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 to also advance.
In the men’s bracket, 2016 champion, Stan Wawrinka marked his return to Flushing Meadows after two years with an impressive 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 win over eight seed, Grigor Dimitrov.
It’s his second straight victory over the Bulgarian in the first round of a Grand Slam event after also claiming victory at SW19 in July.