NEW YORK, August 27, 2018
First match on brand new Louis Armstrong Stadium and first upset at this year’s US Open. World No. 1 Simona Halep is out of the last Grand Slam tournament of the season. The 26-year-old Romanian lost in straight-sets 6-2, 6-4 to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. The World No. 44 struck 26 winners to seal victory in one hour and 16 minutes.
— Michael Dickens (@michaelcdickens) 27. August 2018
“I didn’t feel pressure, just today was not my day. It was a bad day for me but she deserved to win,” Halep said.
Kanepi was obviously happy with the result: “I have always loved being in New York. I like the atmosphere. I like being here. I love the courts and the climate, and I think that the courts suit my game really well.” It is the first time the women’s top seed has ever lost in the first round of the tournament.
“There are not many players anymore who are leading the game. Everybody can beat everybody on a good day. Simona is No. 1, she plays constantly really well, but I can play really well, too,” Kanepi stated.
Kanepi will next take on Swiss qualifier Jill Teichmann, who eased past Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia 6-3, 6-0 in only 53 minutes.
Wawrinka beats Dimitrov again
On Arthur Ashe Stadium, 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka returned to the US Open against No. 8 seed Grigor Dimitrov. Wawrinka missed last year’s event after undergoing two surgeries on his left knee. The 33-year-old Swiss returned as the World No. 101 and for a second straight Grand Slam meets Dimitrov in the first round.
Wawrinka rallied from a set down to defeat Dimitrov at Wimbledon on 2 July, ending a four-match losing streak in his rivalry with the Bulgarian. Wawrinka knocked out Dimitrov again with an impressive 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 victory.
On Court 13, Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi, who is playing his first hard-court event since the Australian Open, secured a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Kyle Edmund to progress to the second round. It is a disappointing defeat for the British No 1 but cramp, which started in the early stages of the third set, impacted his performance. Lorenzi hit 21 aces and saved nine of the 12 break points he faced while converting six of his own.