Defending champion Kerber crashes out of US Open

Posted August 31, 2017

A happy Naomi Osaka celebrates after defeating Angelique Kerber in the first round of the 2017 U.S. Open.

Six years after guiding Stosur to the title, David Taylor's latest charge, 19-year-year-old Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka, sent defending champion Angelique Kerber crashing out of the season's final grand slam.

As players ran for cover from drenched outside courts where just 90 minutes of action was possible, and only three matches completed, Osaka's big-hitting game flourished under the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

US Open chiefs made a decision to cancel 44 singles matches and postpone the completion of 11 others until Wednesday because of the unrelenting rain.

Osaka credited Taylor with making her believe after her 6-3 6-1 centre-court rout.

"When I was down in the first set, I just tried to be there as he was playing well and controlling the points", said French Open champion Nadal, who is chasing a 16th major. "I mean, of course, you have always the goal for years to going there and to reaching the top, but then if you are there, you actually don't know what to expect, and then it's just the process". She's a really good, talented player.

"I'm still the same player and the same person", she said.

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But perhaps it wasn't too surprising after Kerber played so poorly following her breakthrough 2016, when she also won the Australian Open and lost to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final before ascending to No. 1 with her victory here.

- Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova, who is the 23rd seed at the tournament, also progressed to the second round with a 6-1 6-3 win over Japan's Misaki Doi.

"I was trying to finding my rhythm then, and especially in the important moments, but, yeah, sometimes it's not working like you want".

The World No.1 eased into the second round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Magda Linette and she was much relieved to be one of the seven women to get their matches done on Tuesday. So the site feels really familiar to me. Rafael Nadal complained that he could not even hear the ball during his win over Dusan Lajovic on Tuesday afternoon.

Kerber has endured a disappointing year since her victory last year, having not won a title since. Despite those improvements she did say that her elbow has given her some problems at times. She flew in yesterday, but she kept it a secret, so I saw her after my match, and I was, like - I was so surprised. I'm assuming it had to do with the roof just holding all of that noise in.

Osaka used to get really nervous answering questions from the Japanese media. "So to win a match on it felt really special".