Defending champion Emma Raducanu has been knocked out of the US Open in the first round after a tough loss to French veteran Alize Cornet.
Raducanu enjoyed a fairytale run in 2021 to become the first qualifier ever to win at Flushing Meadows.
The teenager was catapulted to superstardom after her maiden slam, but has struggled in 2022 to maintain the form that saw her rise up the rankings.
Just before her opening round, Raducanu was seen in tears having sustained an injury to her right hand in practice.
And the hand injury appeared to hinder the British 19-year-old who was outplayed 6-3, 6-3 by the French veteran.
Raducanu becomes just the third defending champion to be eliminated in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
To add insult to injury, Raducanu dropped 2,000 ranking points and will drop down to around World No.80 after the result.
Despite the brutal loss, many in the tennis world were quick to rally around Raducanu after such a difficult year in the limelight.
Emma Raducanu's title defense at the #USOpen ends in the first round of the 2022 tournament, as she loses to Alizé Cornet 6-3, 6-3 on Armstrong
19yo Raducanu will drop to around #80 in the WTA Ranking at best. Will need to rebuild all over again, hopefully with less expectations pic.twitter.com/30MHzFXfqz
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) August 31, 2022
Defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu loses her opening round to Alize Cornet. She’s only the third woman to lose her opening round a year after winning the title.
The throne is open. 👑🎾 #USOpen2022
— Julie Stewart-Binks (@JSB_TV) August 31, 2022
Of course that's a disappointing loss for Emma Raducanu to a spirited Alize Cornet, but surely she breathes a big sigh of relief, too.
These past 50 weeks have been so challenging in so many ways. Now she starts anew #usopen
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) August 31, 2022
Emma Raducanu US Open 2021 and 2022...chalk and cheese.
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) August 31, 2022
Hardly a shock but certainly newsworthy. Emma Raducanu, the British teen who shocked the sports world and maybe the world by winning last year's US Open as a qualifier, just lost in the first round this year to Alizé Cornet: 6-3, 6-3
Ranking plummet ahead: to around 80#getty pic.twitter.com/vQzSGVXHEh
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) August 31, 2022
Defending champion Emma Raducanu falls in two sets to Alize Cornet in the First Round of the US Open.
In the Open Era (since 1968), the only other women’s defending US Open champions to lose in the opening round are Svetlana Kuznetsova (2005) and Angelique Kerber (2017). pic.twitter.com/N2ebjLNzjC
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 31, 2022
The real journey and the fresh clean slate officially begins for Emma Raducanu. That was a wild year. Nice to get that over with. Now time for it to be a more conventional progression. Emma had got to the Major with an elevator & is now ready to climb the stairs.
— Vansh (@vanshv2k) August 31, 2022
Emma Raducanu just lost 2000 ranking points. Her ranking will drop out of the top 80.
Alize Cornet is a tough first round, but Emma has simply not played anywhere near the level she produced last year at the US Open. #USOpen pic.twitter.com/sAQBW0S6gX
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) August 31, 2022
The commentary is soft on Emma Raducanu tonight. Sorry but she has been terrible since winning the US Open last year (call it as it is). It is almost as though since she stated she wanted to be with a coach who could take her to the next level, she has fallen way short.#USOpen
— Justin Allen (@justinallen1976) August 31, 2022
I love Emma Raducanu but wish she didn't sack her coach last year and state she wanted one who was a proven winner. Sorry Emma but that guy helped you win a Grand Slam out of nowhere. Get him back! Also commentary tonight was a disgrace, so soft on Emma. She was awful. #USOpen
— Justin Allen (@justinallen1976) August 31, 2022
Emma Raducanu struggles with injury at US Open
Raducanu became only the third woman to lose her opening match in New York a year after winning the title - joining 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.
During the match, Raducanu received treatment on her hand and appeared in severe pain.
Before the tournament, the British teenager was consoled by coach Dmitry Tursunov during Friday's practice session after she appeared to tearfully complain about a problem with her right hand.
However, she doubled down and said she wasn't feeling the pressure to repeat the feat in New York.
"I think you guys are thinking probably more about pressure and ranking than me," she told reporters.
"I think defending a title is just something that the press makes up. I'm just taking it one match at a time.
"Like, every single player is very capable in this draw. I just focus on what I'm doing, my own trajectory. As I said last year, I'm just going to do things my way."
Regardless of the drama, the day belonged to Cornet.
The 32-year-old simply outplayed Raducanu to add another big scalp to her grand slam resume.
Cornet has enjoyed a strong year having reached the Australian Open quarter-final after defeating Simona Halep.
Cornet knocked out Jelena Ostapenko at Roland Garros, World No.1 Swiatek at Wimbledon and now Raducanu in New York.
In her record 63rd consecutive women's singles Slam main draw, Alize Cornet knocks out defending #USOpen champion Emma Raducanu 6-3, 6-3.
Hell of a year for Cornet at the Slams, beating Halep in Melbourne, Ostapenko in Paris, Swiatek at Wimbledon, and now Raducanu in New York.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 31, 2022
Playing in her record-breaking 63rd consecutive major, Alizé Cornet defeats defending champion Emma Raducanu 63 63. #USOpen
Cornet's strong Slam season continues. Beat Halep to make 1st major QF at AO, beat Ostapenko at RG, Swiatek at Wimbledon, now the champion in New York.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 31, 2022
Cornet will now face Katerina Siniakova in the second round at Flushing Meadows.
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