Seeded Simona Halep makes history with first-round US Open loss

by Leon Thompson August 28, 2018, 0:28
Seeded Simona Halep makes history with first-round US Open loss

Number one seeded Simona Halep of Romania chases down a return to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during their 2018 US Open women's match August 27, 2018 in NY. The reigning French Open champion has now lost her first match at 12 of 34 career major appearances, a stunningly high rate for such an accomplished player.

Simona Halep of Romania smashes her racket on the ground during her loss to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on day one of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Put those two types at opposite ends of a court at Flushing Meadows and watch what can happen: Halep made a quick-as-can-be exit Monday, overwhelmed by the power-based game of Kanepi 6-2, 6-4 to become the first No. 1-seeded woman to lose her opening match at the U.S. Open in the half-century of the professional era.

But it did not appear that way against Kanepi, one of the biggest hitters in the game, who blasted her way with some bruising groundstrokes to a famous victory.

"I have always loved being in NY", said the 33-year-old Kanepi, twice a quarter-finalist at the tournament who has been ranked as high as world number 15. World number one retrieved a double break in the second set to get back to 4-4 but the Romanian got broken again and the Estonian held to serve out the match.

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Frustration for Halep boiled over in the second game of the second set when she smashed her racket on the court, earning a racket abuse warning from the chair umpire.

"I didn't play great, but she played really well".

"Today I just lost", Halep told reporters.

Open where she hasn't lost her debut match since 2009 (K.Chang).

World No. 44 Kanepi was a quarter-finalist in Flushing Meadows previous year, but her form has been unremarkable this season. Halep, however, has already secured her rank through the tournament, so she will remain No. 1.

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