Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina crashes out of US Open

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 31 2022 05:56 AM

Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in action at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, in San Jose, Calif., August 1, 2022. John G. Mabanglo, EPA-EFE
Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in action at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, in San Jose, Calif., August 1, 2022. John G. Mabanglo, EPA-EFE

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina crashed out of the US Open at the first hurdle on Tuesday, slumping to a straight sets defeat against French qualifier Clara Burel.

Burel, ranked 131st in the world, punished a lackluster performance from 25th-seeded Rybakina to advance 6-4, 6-4.

Despite winning her maiden Grand Slam title in early July, Kazakhstan's Rybakina received a lowly US Open seeding due to the fact her Wimbledon victory carried no rankings points.

Wimbledon was stripped of points by the WTA and ATP Tours over the championships' decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus.

That meant that Tuesday's opener featuring the Wimbledon champion was relegated to one of Flushing Meadows' outside courts.

Burel immediately looked more at home in the surroundings, and seized the initiative to take the first set before building a lead in the second.

Rybakina, meanwhile, was unable to generate momentum after a string of 37 unforced errors throughout the match.

She duffed a straightforward return from a Burel second serve into the net to give the Frenchwoman match point.

Burel then unfurled a corking forehand winner up the line on the next point to seal victory.

Burel will play either Venus Williams or Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round.