Estonian Kaia Kanepi upset top seed Simona Halep 6-2 6-4 in the first official US Open match in the new Armstrong Stadium, marking the first time the No.1 women’s seed lost in the first round at the US Open in the Open Era, i.e. since 1968.
Sporting the Nike Fall Slam Dress that was launched by Eugenie Bouchard and others in qualifying, the world No.1 Halep recovered from a double break down to 4-4 in the second set, but the world No.44 Kanepi broke her serve again, for the fifth time in the match, and celebrated victory when Halep sent a forehand long on match point.
Last year Halep also lost in the first round, to Maria Sharapova, but then she was ranked No.2.
History was made and preserved at the US Open on Monday, as the first ball hit during this first official match in the new Louis Armstrong Stadium was donated to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The first ball hit — a Halep serve, hit into the crowd by Kanepi — was caught by 7-year-old Sebastian Topor, of Berkeley Heights, N.J., pictured with Kanepi above.