Naomi Osaka stuns US Open defending champion Angelique Kerber in first round

Aug 29 2017 New York NY USA
 Angelique Kerber of Germany hits to Naomi Osaka of Japan in Ashe Stadium on day two at the USTA Billie Je

It continues a disappointing year for 29-year-old Kerber, who has not won a title since her victory in NY 12 months ago.

But perhaps it wasn't so surprising after Kerber played so poorly after her breakthrough 2016, when she also won the Australian Open and lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final. "I knew that everything was going the right way, but I was a little bit injured and it's still not 100 percent with my elbow", the sixth seed said.

"But the end of the first set was very important. It's nostalgic every time I come here, so I'm always really happy to play here".

Osaka also converted four break points and won 63.2 percent of Kerber's second serves-again, a sign of her dominance. Last year, Osaka lost to American Madison Keys in the third round.

That next match will be against either a qualifier or Denisa Allertova, who is ranked more than 40 places below her at 90.

"The site", Osaka said, "feels really familiar to me".

Kerber, who despite her poor form held the number one spot until Wimbledon, will now fall outside the top 10.

Moments later, her eyes darting around the room, she added, "This year is a completely different year". It was later announced all matches outside of Arthur Ashe Stadium were canceled for the day.

She almost upended Keys in the U.S. Open's third round past year, leading 5-1 in the third set before losing in a tiebreaker, a collapse on her mind in the latter stages Tuesday.

In total, only nine singles matches were due to be completed out of a scheduled 64.

Nadal, this year's French Open champion, is 12-0 in first round meetings in New York; Federer is 16-0.

Heis bidding for a record sixth crown in NY.

And arguably, it all started here for the 25-year-old in a final finish that took in wins over both Williams sisters.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber struggled badly with her second serve, winning only 37% of points behind it.

Pliskova, who is seeded No. 1, easily advanced by beating Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko got past Lara Arruabarrena 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in a match that started on Court 17 then was moved indoors at Ashe, and No. 23 Barbora Strycova defeated Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-3.

Also in action are 2004 champion Kuznetsova, who meets Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, and French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko, up against Lara Arruabarrena of Spain.

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