Defending champion Kerber stunned by Japan's Osaka

Not that Pliskova needed one.

However, she regained her bearings as she finished the first set in just 38 minutes.

Kerber then took the same court where she beat Pliskova for the title past year and took another stinging defeat in what's been a season-long slump since winning her second Grand Slam title. I just tried to focus on what I could do to win the match.

Not that it was as plain sailing as the score suggested.

But it was more than enough in what proved to be a comfortable win, where she thumped 28 winners past her opponent.

Pliskova will next play either Veronica Cepede Royg or Nicole Gibbs, though by 3.30pm, the tournament had already taken the decision to cancel all remaining matches except those under the Arthur Ashe roof: The rain was here to stay.

However in contrast to Pliskova's upward trajectory since last September, Kerber's fortunes had been far more uncertain.


World number one Nadal, meanwhile, began his campaign for a third US Open title with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 6-2 win over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic.

Kerber had four break points but failed to convert any as Osaka completed her demolition job to claim her first career victory against a top-10 player. Indeed a loss here would take her outside the top 10, and it was not an easy opener against teenage talent, Naomi Osaka.

Kerber then took the same court where she beat Pliskova for the title previous year and took another stinging defeat. Two points later, the German netted a return that gave Osaka the first set. This time, she would not make the same mistake, in a devastating display of aggressive baseline tennis.

Earlier on, world No. 1 and last year's beaten finalist Karolina Pliskova made a winning start to her first Grand Slam as the top seed.

Osaka broke for a 5-3 lead in the first set, then seized control when she broke twice in the second set to open a 4-1 cushion. It was her first top-10 win, but this very contained young woman was not about to leap for joy-it is not her way.

"I think it's just the matches and how I played last year from the beginning and how I'm struggling this year". "I just really want to play good here", said the World No. 45 Osaka after the match. She'll next face American Sachia Vickery on Wednesday.

The rain washed out the majority of the action on Tuesday but before the bad weather started, 23rd seed Barbora Strycova, Yanina Wickmayer and Sorana Cirstea advanced.


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