Halep stunned by Kanepi in US Open first round

Ruben Holloway
August 27, 2018

The reigning French Open champion became the first top-seeded woman to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open when she fell to No. 44 Kaia Kanepi, 6-2, 6-4, in the tournament's first match in a newly renovated Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Rated as the joint favourite with Serena Williams heading into the event, Halep came unstuck to Kanepi - who played a brilliant match - and made an unwanted piece of history as she became the first women's top seed to lose in the opening round in NY in the Open Era.

"I have always loved being in NY", the 33-year-old Kanepi said.

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It was a second straight first-round exit at Flushing Meadows for French Open champion Halep, who dropped her opening match to Maria Sharapova past year.

The schedule Monday includes Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka - all past champions at Flushing Meadows who missed last year's U.S. Open.

The No. 18-seeded American snapped a seven-match losing streak in singles matches on tour with a 6-0, 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory over Guido Andreozzi of Argentina in the first round of the U.S. Open. She can only hope things turn out as well at the U.S. Open as they did at the French Open. Kanepi is simply not that calibre of player. She never lost control of the match, even in the second set when Halep appeared to get into more of a rhythm.

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Making her 25th Grand Slam main draw appearance, Svitolina extended her 19-6 record in major opening matches, most recently falling at this stage at 2018 Wimbledon (l. Maria).

Frustration boiled over for the Romanian No.1 as she destroyed her racquet early in the second set but she showed great fight to recover both the two breaks she suffered to keep her hopes alive.

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