TENNIS

Top Seed Halep Crashes Out, Champ Stephens, Serena In R2

Top seed Simona Halep of Romania is out of U.S. Open after a shock defeat to Estonian Kaia Kanep while champion Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams ease into the second round.

World number one Simona Halep of Romania was upset 6-2 6-4 by unseeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the first round. The second consecutive year the Romanian has lost her opening match at flushing meadows.
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Defending champion and third seed Sloane Stephens began her title defence on a steamy louis Armstrong stadium court with a 6-1 7-5 win over 80th ranked Russian Evgeniya Rodina.
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Serena Williams took the first cautious step towards a record-equalling 24th grand slam title with a 6-4 6-0 first-round win over Magda Linette as an excited U.S. Open crowd welcomed the new tennis mother back to the 'big apple'.

It was not the imposing performance many have come to expect from Williams as the six-time champion continued to scrape the rust off her game following the birth of her first child.