No. 1 Simona Halep Falls in First Round of U.S. Open

The US Open has started with a bang as world number one Simona Halep christened the newly renovated Louis Armstrong Stadium with a shock 6-2, 6-4 loss to unseeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi, becoming the first top seed to lose an opening match at Flushing Meadows.

It was the sixth time in the Open era that the number one seed has lost in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament and the first at the U.S. Open.

Halep, who lost her opening-round match in NY a year ago 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.

"I didn't play great, but she played really well". It happened twice to Martina Hingis and once to Steffi Graf at Wimbledon, once to Angelique Kerber at the French Open, and once to Virginia Ruzici at the Australian Open. She couldn't be more managed to drill 26 winners to Halep's 9 and 28 unforced errors to 9.

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

The 14,061-seat stadium became the second arena at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre to boast a retractable roof after a $600million (£465m) rennovation - and it may well boast the biggest upset of the 2018 event already as Halep was blown away on the first day of the final Grand Slam of the year. I knew that she can play well here.

Kanepi earned the first break when she launched a back-hand lob over Halep's head to jump out to a 2-1 lead.

Halep's 2017 defeat came against five-time major champion Maria Sharapova, though. Winners included a pair of Americans, No. 18 Jack Sock, who had lost eight consecutive matches including one in qualifying, and No. 11 John Isner.

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.

  • Rosalie Stanley