Some big names have already exited the US Open much early than expected. Defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu barely got her title defense off the ground as she fell to Alizé Cornet 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round of the tournament on Tuesday.
With the loss, Raducanu becomes just the third defending US Open champion to ever lose in the first round the following year. The 19-year-old British star was hampered by hand blisters throughout the match.
“Obviously really disappointing. Really sad to leave here,” Raducanu said after her loss, according to the Associated Press. “It’s probably my favorite tournament. But also, I mean, in a way, (I’m) happy, because it’s a clean slate. I’m going to drop down the rankings. (Will) climb my way back up.”
Raducanu wasn’t the only former US Open champion to fall in the first round. Naomi Osaka was eliminated by Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins 7-6 (5), 6-3. It marks a tough stretch for Osaka, who also fell in the first round of the French Open earlier this year.
As a result of her struggles earlier in the year, Osaka fell to No. 44 in the world rankings. Entering Tuesday’s match, she had won all three of her career matchups against Collins. Osaka, who is a four-time Grand Slam winner, had previously won the US Open in 2018 and 2020.
In addition to Raducanu and Osaka, Venus Williams also came up short in opening round action at the US Open.
Williams fell 6-1, 7-6 at the hands of Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck, who was ranked No. 43 in the world entering the tournament. Van Uytvanck had an 1-8 career record at the US Open prior to Tuesday’s match against Williams.
Van Uytvanck raced out to an early 4-0 lead in the first and was cruised to cruise to a 6-1 victory. Williams, who recently returned to the court after being off the singles tour since August 2021, lost her fourth match since coming back. The 42-year-old icon is currently ranked No. 1,504 in the world.
Williams’ time at the US Open isn’t over just yet though.
She’ll compete in the doubles tournament alongside her sister, Serena Williams, and will face Linda Noskova and Lucie Hradecka on Thursday in the opening round.