Ranked Halep crashes out of US Open first round

Ranked Halep crashes out of US Open first round

Javier Howell
August 28, 2018

One of 22 thirtysomethings in this year's draw, Kanepi sealed her second career win over reigning World No.1, after she became first Estonian to defeat World No.1 at 2011 Tokyo [PPO] (Wozniacki), to extend to 25-16 her mark in the first-rounds of majors, including a 9-2 record at U.S.

She faced unseeded former champion Maria Sharapova, who triumphed in one of the most memorable first-round matches in Grand Slam history.

Halep, who lost her opening-round match in NY previous year to Maria Sharapova, joins a small club of No. 1 seeds who have lost in the first round of a Grand Slam in tennis's Open Era, which began in 1968.

It was the first match at the rebuilt Louis Armstrong Stadium, which now has a retractable roof, and what a way to get things started.

No.7 seed Elina Svitolina powered into the second round of the US Open thanks to a 6-3, 1-6, 6-0 victory over Sachia Vickery who broke in the very first game before Svitolina claimed five straight games.

On this day, though, Kanepi took charge of baseline exchanges, compiling a 26-9 edge in winners, 14 on her favored forehand side alone.

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Kanepi, ranked No. 44 in the world, stormed to win the first set in 28 minutes, then carried a break win in the second set to victory.

"I thought, 'I just have to be aggressive and try to stay calm,"' Kanepi said.

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.

"I was thinking about that: Why (did) they cheer so much for her?" "It was a bit annoying for some time, but I got over it".

A long list of returns was scheduled for later Monday, including past champions Serena Williams, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka on the court after missing last year's US Open.