New York: Angelique Kerber is gone from the US Open, the first defending champion eliminated in the first round in 12 years.
The sixth-seeded German is out of the tournament and on her way out of the top 10 after being beaten by Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in one of the only completed matches on a rainy Tuesday.
Kerber and Osaka had the stage to themselves after play was suspended on all courts other than Arthur Ashe Stadium, which has a retractable roof that was closed midway through No. 1 Karolina Pliskova's 6-2, 6-1 victory over Magda Linette of Poland.
Kerber then took the same court where she beat Pliskova for the title last year and took another stinging defeat in what's been a season-long slump since winning her second Grand Slam title.
The left-hander fell to 25-18 with no titles in 2017 after she was No 1 last year.
The last defending women's champion to lose in the first round was Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005.
Published Date: Aug 30, 2017 12:08 am | Updated Date: Aug 30, 2017 12:10 am