Top-seeded Simona Halep makes history with first-round US Open loss

Women’s Tennis Association world No. 1 Simona Halep made history Monday morning, but in a way she’ll undoubtedly want to forget.

Playing the first match ever on the brand new Louis Armstrong Court, Halep became the first top-seeded woman in the Open era to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open. That’s 50 years this feat has gone untouched. Across all Grand Slams, top seeds had lost in the first round only five times before Halep.

U.S. Open favorite Simona Halep was upset in the first round. (AP Photo)

She lost 6-2, 6-4 in just 75 minutes to world No. 44 Kaia Kanepi, of Estonia. Halep, however, has already secured her rank through the tournament, so she will remain No. 1. 

The 26-year-old Halep won her first Grand Slam title earlier this year at the French Open. In last year’s U.S. Open, she also lost in the first round, that time to Maria Sharapova.

Despite battling back to 4-4 in the second set, Halep wasn’t able to hold on. Kanepi said after the match that her key to success was “staying aggressive all the time,” which paid off as she was able to repeatedly break Halep’s serve. 

Earlier in August, the Romanian Halep won the Rogers Cup and was the runner-up at the Cincinnati Masters.

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