Simona Halep 1st No. 1 seed to lose 1st US Open match

US Open 2017: Simona Halep knocked out by Kaia Kanepi in first round

US Open 2017: Simona Halep knocked out by Kaia Kanepi in first round

The Estonian doubled Halep's victor total in the first set - 13 to 6 - and also dropped just five points on serve overall. Halep is the first female No. 1 seed to fall at the first hurdle of the US Open in the professional era.

Kanepi, ranked No.44 in the world, reached the quarterfinals here a year ago - her best result at any Grand Slam - but has struggled to find her form after suffering from illness and injuries, and hadn't won back-to-back WTA main draw matches since the 2018 Australian Open.

"I think I'm getting there", said Williams, who turned up the heat on a steamy NY night that opened with a gala celebration of the US Open's 50th anniversary.

Kaia Kanepi looked like a unsafe first-round draw for world No 1 Simona Halep, and so it proved.

Halep was off to another slow start at a Grand Slam tournament.

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But her run in NY was a brief one.

At night, defending champion Rafael Nadal advanced when the man he beat in the 2013 French Open final, David Ferrer, stopped in the second set because of an injury, while 2009 champ Juan Martin del Potro had no trouble dismissing Donald Young 6-0, 6-3, 6-4. "I like the weather: humid and hot". She could have played Serena or Venus Williams in the fourth round. Virginia Ruzici did so at the 1979 Australian Open, Steffi Graf lost at Wimbledon in 1994, Martina Hingis lost at Wimbledon in 1999 and in 2001, and Angelique Kerber lost as the top seed this year at Roland Garros. She never lost control of the match, even in the second set when Halep appeared to get into more of a rhythm.

The Estonian, ranked 44th in the world, seized control with a run of five straight games for a 5-1 lead in the opening set, breaking Halep twice and serving it out in just 28 minutes.

"I just tried to stay calm and play my game", Stephens said. "It was a bit annoying for some time, but I got over it".

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