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US Open 2017: Staying at the top is hardest, says Angelique Kerber

30 August, 2017, 02:00 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Naomi Osaka

"I'm still the same player and the same person, so I think it's just-yeah, I think it's just the matches and how I played last year from the beginning and how I'm struggling this year", Kerber said of the contrast between her 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Osaka, who grew up in NY, broke for 5-3 and sealed the opening set with a sizzling victor down the line under the closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The defending women's champion is down a set in the only match going on at the U.S. Open.

It's the second time the defending US Open women's champion has lost in the first round the following year.

"I think, yeah, it was not my day, completely not my day today", Kerber said.

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Kerber then took the same court where she beat Pliskova for the title a year ago and took another stinging defeat. "I got the break back and after that, everything changed".

Kerber, who despite her poor form held the number one spot until Wimbledon, will now fall outside the top 10.

Osaka will face either Sweden's Rebecca Peterson or Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic for a place in the last 32.

Fellow Czech Barbora Strycova also advanced quickly to the second round, as the No. 23 seed cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Misaki Doi of Japan.

With No. 2 Simona Halep's loss to Maria Sharapova on Monday night and seventh-seeded Johanna Konta also falling, three of the top-seven seeds on the women's side were gone by the mid-day Tuesday - with Williams not playing because she's pregnant.

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Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion in NY, starts against Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen.

Pliskova beat Magda Linette of Poland 6-2, 6-1, slowed only when the players had to break so the retractable roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium could be closed.

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.

The Latvian won 12 of the last 14 points to seal the deal in a tie suspended at 3-1 in the final set five hours earlier.

In 2017, Kerber made only the last 16 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon with a first-round exit at the French Open sandwiched in between.

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The Ashe programme Tuesday was being completed by U.S. 15th seed Madison Keys facing Elie Mertens of Belgium.

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