The US Open will officially have a new women’s champion after the reigning champion Emma Raducanu was knocked out in the very first round by Alize Cornet.
The Brit was beaten 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets as her fairytale year came to a close.
Raducanu last year, became the first qualifier to claim a Grand Slam title, winning 10 matches in New York without dropping a set, catapulting her into the stratosphere and making her one of the most marketable athletes on the planet.
She failed to live up to the lofty expectations since but arrived at the place of her coronation full of confidence. Unfortunately for her, she ran into a savvy veteran who has beaten better players than Raducanu this season.
The two players traded a couple of breaks before Cornet would break the young Briton a third time to get in front 5-3 and hold serve to secure the 1-0 lead.
But the Briton would answer with a break of her own and a second to go up 3-1. With the contest seemingly headed for a decisive set, Cornet shifted gears sweeping the next five games to seal the victory.
With the loss, Emma Raducanu became the first defending US Open champion to lose in the first round since Germany’s Angelique Kerber in 2017.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina was another high-profile name to fall in the first round after being beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Clara Burel. Naomi Osaka’s barren run at grand slams continued as she fell 7-6, 6-3 to American Danielle Collins.
In other matches, Belinda Bencic, Petra Kvitová, Sloane Stephens, Aryna Sabalenka, Karolína Plíšková, Iga Świątek and Garbiñe Muguruza reached the next round.