Unlike fellow Estonian player Kaia Kanepi, who got her US Open campaign off to a start with a victory against world number one Simona Halep of Romania, Estonia's highest-ranking racquet Anett Kontaveit (27th in the WTA lades' rankings) lost in three sets to Czech player Katerina Siniakova (54th in the world) at Flushing Meadows.
In a tough evening game which lasted two and a half hours in 30 degree heat and 60% humidity, the first set went to a tie-break, which Ms. Kontaveit won, but her Czech opponent raced to a 4-0 lead in games in the second set.
Ms. Kontaveit, 22, from Tallinn, pulled things back to 5-3 before having her serve broken in the next game and losing the second set 6-3.
The deciding set was tighter, and at one time stood at 3-3 in games, until Ms. Siniakova pulled ahead six games to five. The Czech had a 40:0 lead in the final game, with Ms. Kontaveit overcoming the first two matchpoints to bring things to 40:30 in points, only to fall down on the third matchpoint, giving Ms. Siniakova a 7-5 victory in the final set and thus the match.
Ms. Kontatveit served up seven double faults in the whole match to Katerina Siniakova's nine, but the latter served more aces, with seven to Kontaveit's three.
Anett Kontaveit, who had dropped slightly in world rankings this year, nonetheless had until this game been as high as fifth in the world on 2018 form, having defeated world no. 2 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, in the Rome masters in May, Ukrainian player Petra Kvitova (5th) at the French Open at the beginning of June, in addition to Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (10th) as well as two wins against Venus Williams.
Kaia Kanepi, 33, from Haapsalu, and two times Wimbledon quarter-finalist, is to face Swiss player Jil Teichmann in round two of the tournament, probably on Thursday.
Editor: Andrew Whyte