Simona Halep knocked out in first round of U.S. Open

Aug 27, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Simona Halep of Romania congratulates Kaia Kanepi of Estonia on Kanepi's two-set win (6-5, 6-4) on day one of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, right, greets number one seeded Simona Halep of Romania after their 2018 US Open women's match August 27, 2018 in NY.

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.

Nothing in her results this season suggested she was about to derail a confident Halep but the Romanian, who lost to Maria Sharapova at the same stage previous year, knew what a potentially tricky draw it was and so it proved.

World number one Simona Halep has been knocked out in the US Open first round, losing 6-2 6-4 to Kaia Kanepi.

Despite battling back to 4-4 in the second set, Halep wasn't able to hold on.

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The contest was all about Kanepi who stepped up big and played big the whole match against the Romanian.

But Kanepi completed the upset when Halep sent a service return long on match point.

One of 13 Grand Slam champions in the draw, Halep became just the sixth top-seeded woman to lose her opening Grand Slam opening match in the Open Era, the first at the U.S. Open, after Virginia Ruzici at 1979 Australian Open, Steffi Graf at 1994 Wimbledon, Martina Hingis at 1999 and 2001 Wimbledon and Angelique Kerber at 2017 Wimbledon.

"I was thinking about that: Why (did) they cheer so much for her?"

Halep had looked primed for a long run in NY after she won the Rogers Cup this month and narrowly missed out on back-to-back titles after losing to Kiki Bertens in the Cincinnati final.

World No. 44 Kanepi was a quarter-finalist in Flushing Meadows a year ago, but her form has been unremarkable this season.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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