Wimbledon queen shocked in New York
OREANDA-NEWS Elena Rybakina will not repeat her Wimbledon exploits at the US Open after being handed a shock first-round defeat by French qualifier Clara Burel in New York on Tuesday, losing 6-4 6-4.
The Russian-born Rybakina – who has represented Kazakhstan since 2018 – won a maiden Grand Slam title with a brilliant run at the All England Club last month.
But the 23-year-old later lamented that she “does not feel like the Wimbledon champion” as her world ranking did not rise after the WTA stripped the tournament of its rankings points in response to its ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
Seeded 25th at the US Open and relegated to the fringes of Court 12 for her contest with Burel, Rybakina squandered six out of seven break points she earned in the opening set, including four in a mammoth 17-point game four, as she was broken twice on her own serve.
The 21-year-old Burel continued to enjoy success in set two, breaking Rybakina’s serve at the first opportunity and saving two break points in game four before marching on to take the match.
Ranked number 131 in the world but a former junior number one, Burel had only emerged into the main draw at Flushing Meadows after saving five match points in her final round qualifying match against Japan’s Misaki Doi.
The Frenchwoman is now into the second round at the US Open for the first time, and will next meet Alison Van Uytvanck, after the Belgian defeated American veteran Venus Williams in straight sets their first-round meeting.
Elsewhere in the women’s singles draw New York, defending champion Emma Raducanu fell at the first hurdle in her title defense, losing to experienced French rival Alize Cornet 6-3 6-3 in their contest at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Two-time US Open women’s champion Naomi Osaka is also out after the 24-year-old Japanese star lost a battle with America’s Danielle Collins, 6-7, 3-6.