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

Simona Halep became the 1st No. 1-seeded woman to lose in 1st round of US Open in professional era

The French Open champion arrived at Flushing Meadows as one of the favourites and declared herself free of pressure after breaking her Grand Slam duck at Roland Garros.

Early in the second set, on the way to falling behind by two breaks at 3-0, Halep slammed her racket twice, drawing a warning for a code violation from the chair umpire.

Simona Halep suffered a shocking 6-2 6-4 defeat to Kaia Kanepi in the 2018 Us Open curtain-raiser. The current match wins leader on tour (46-8), Halep also led the way for hardcourt wins (28-4) but Kanepi, a quarterfinalist a year ago as a qualifier, claimed her first win over a Top 20 opponent since 2015 Madrid.

The reigning French Open champion became the first top-seeded woman to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open when she fell to No. 44 Kaia Kanepi, 6-2, 6-4, in the tournament's first match in a newly renovated Louis Armstrong Stadium.

"It's always about the nerves", said Halep, who was beaten in the first round in NY by five-time major champion Maria Sharapova in 2017.

There would be no such turnaround for her against Kanepi, a big hitter who dictated the points to claim her second career win against a top-ranked player - but first top-20 victory since 2015.

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

She fought back from a double break down to 4-4 in the second set but the Estonian broke again before Halep sent a forehand long on match point.

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

Simona Halep won in Montreal this summer, and looked superb while doing it. Last year, the U.S. Open began with eighth players vying for the No. 1 ranking.

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

The Romanian can take small consolation from the fact she has amassed enough ranking points to remain world number one after the two-week tournament ends.

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