BRITISH No2 Anne Keothavong was last night eliminated in the first round of the US Open after losing 6-2, 6-0 to sixth seed Angelique Kerber.
The German largely looked a level above Britain’s world No81 and, with Keothavong holding serve on just two occasions, required only 54 minutes to secure both victory and a second round tie against American Venus Williams.
Kerber’s win was Keothavong’s seventh consecutive defeat since reaching the second round of Wimbledon in June and her exit, coupled with that of British No1 Heather Watson to China’s Li Na on Monday, leaves talented teenager Laura Robson as Britain’s greatest female hope.
Robson today faces three-time champion Kim Clijsters in the tournament’s second round but will not be the sole female British survivor should, as expected, she fail to defeat the decorated Belgian. Johanna Konta, having last night beaten Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-2, 7-5, also remains.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also yesterday reached the second round after defeating Karol Beck 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2). The French fifth seed had controlled the opening two sets before struggling somewhat and trailing 5-3 in the third and, like British No1 Andy Murray on Monday, felt that the elements had prevented him from successfully performing near his peak.
“It took some effort to come back [in the third set],” said Tsonga, who could meet Murray in the tournament’s quarter-finals. “It was not easy today because the weather was hot. I’m happy to go through really quickly.”
There were also victories for Andy Roddick, Tomas Berdych, Nicolas Almagro, Philipp Petzschner and Milos Raonic.