Defending champ Kerber falls at US Open

Posted August 31, 2017

On a day when the schedule was decimated by heavy rain, Nadal, who was crowned champion at Flushing Meadows in 2010 and 2013, prevailed 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, 6-2. The U.S. Open is known for loud, boisterous crowd and the roof only makes the crowd sound even louder. Obviously before every first-round match I'm a little bit nervous, but especially at a grand slam and especially to defend so many points here from the final previous year. The 19-times grand slam victor switched gears to take the next two, easing fears that the back injury that forced him out in Cincinnati two weeks ago was not acting up.

Kerber's confidence was shot to pieces in the second set and Osaka was relentless to record the biggest win of her tennis career.

"He talks to me a lot about positivity because I tend to be really negative on myself and to the point where I don't really know what I'm doing anymore", Osaka said.

US Open chiefs chose to cancel 44 singles matches and postpone the completion of 11 others until Wednesday because of the unrelenting rain. But it's been a struggle for the the German since.

"When it was 4-1 today I was thinking, "I really hope I don't do what I did last year" and that let me focus a lot".

- The 15th seed will meet compatriot Ashley Kratzer or German Tatjana Maria in the second round.

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Ostapenko, the French Open champion, won 12 of 14 points played inside to wrap up a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1. Void of any type of emotion, the 19-year-old Osaka walked calmly to the net after taking just over an hour to easily defeat Kerber, 6-3, 6-1, in front of an appreciative crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. - Romania's Sorana Cirstea, one of just nine winners on Tuesday at a rainy, chilly US Open. Osaka, just 19, could sympathize based on her own experience. Nadal will face Japan's Taro Daniel or American Tommy Paul next.

Light rain began falling earlier Tuesday, and though play was able to continue for some time in between the umbrellas that popped up, it was eventually suspended and players were sent back to the locker room and all but one of the non-Ashe matches that were in progress or still to be played were scrapped. "For sure, it was not the best day and not the best match for me".

"I know that I will not (be) giving up", said Kerber, the first defending champion to lose in the US Open's first round since Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2005.

The performances improved, and at the Australian Open a year ago, she made it past the qualifying stage to make the main draw of her first Grand Slam.

Karolina Pliskova and Madison Keys came through their openers at the US Open as Angelique Kerber crashed out on a rainy day in NY.