Defending Champion, Kerber crashes out of US Open

Defending Champion, Kerber crashes out of US Open

"Moving forward, I feel like I know that I can play with the top players now, so I don't have to be as nervous as I was today", she said in a warning to her next opponent, Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson or Czech Denisa Allertova. She also exited the French Open at the first hurdle and has not made a slam quarterfinal in 2017. "She played a very good match from the beginning".

The last defending women's champion to lose in the first round in NY was Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005.

The 36-year-old Swiss, who missed the 2016 US Open to rest a knee injury, takes on US teenager Frances Tiafoe under the lights, looking to take his first round record to 17-0.

"I was always believing until the end that I could turn around the match, because I turn around a lot of matches", Kerber told a news conference.

Osaka lost to Madison Keys a year ago but had led 5-1 in the final set before her nerve failed.

Today, in a tight opening sequence of six consecutive service holds, the first indication of Osaka's peak came when the Japanese player fended off the first break point she saved with a long rally that she finished with a brilliant backhand victor.

"She just goes for it", added Kerber. "I knew that everything was going the right way, but I was a little bit injured and it's still not 100 percent with my elbow", the sixth seed said.

Osaka moves on to play the victor of Rebecca Peterson of Sweden and Czech Republic's Denisa Allertova, whose match was postponed due to rain on Tuesday. But even her biggest admirers may not have expected such a decisive victory, 6-2, 6-1-all done and dusted in an hour and 19 minutes, just as the rain began to disrupt the other matches around Flushing.

Earlier on, world No. 1 and last year's beaten finalist Karolina Pliskova made a winning start to her first Grand Slam as the top seed.

Federer defeated the world number 70 in straight sets in Miami this year but Tiafoe, the son of a Sierra Leone immigrant, illustrated his growing reputation by seeing off world number six Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati.

She reached the final at the year-ending WTA finals, losing to Dominika Cibulkova, but relinquished the top ranking after being knocked out in the fourth round of her Australian Open title defence.

Heis bidding for a record sixth crown in NY.

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