Former world No1 Angelique Kerber has vowed to bounce back after the defending champion suffered a shock defeat to teenager Naomi Osaka in the first round of the US Open.
The German sixth seed, who surrendered her world No1 ranking following a disappointing showing at Wimbledon, lost 6-3, 6-1 under the roof of the Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 29-year-old has failed to win a title since her US Open triumph 12 months ago.
“I’m still the same player and the same person,” said Kerber. “I know that I’m strong and I know that I will come back stronger, for sure. I know that I will not be giving up like this. So for me, I will try to forget the match as soon as possible.”
Japan’s world No 45 Osaka, 19, said: “It means a lot, especially since the last time I was here [leading 5-1 in the final set against Madison Keys last year before losing]. This court has not given me fond memories but hopefully this overtakes that.”
Men’s world No1 Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, began his quest to win a third US Open title by powering past Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic.
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.
“At the end of the first set it was important to get the break point back and I played a good point at 6-6, then hit a good winner to win the set. Then everything was changing,” said Nadal. “I need to keep improving, but the first round is never easy. There are nerves out here.”
The three remaining Britons in the tournament are all scheduled to be in action on Wednesday. Aljaz Bedene is set to play his delayed first round match against Andrey Rublev, while Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie go up against Steve Johnson and Pablo Carreno Busta respectively.