British No 1 Johanna Konta's US Open campaign came to an abrupt end on Monday (28 August) when she suffered a 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 defeat by Aleksandra Krunic in the first round at Flushing Meadows.
Konta, who performed admirably to reach the last four at Wimbledon and was tipped to progress into the latter stages in New York, took the first set with relative comfort despite performing poorly on her first serve.
She looked set to carry Britain's hopes on her shoulders into the second round, racing into a 4-1 lead in the opening exchanges and managing to hold off a brief but firm response from the Serbian to clinch the first set 6-4.
But Krunic, who resides a full 71 places below Konta in the world rankings, had other ideas and improved as the match progressed. After a rather even start to the second set the 24-year-old managed to clinch three games in a row to win 6-3 and level proceedings at Flushing Meadows.
The momentum was firmly with the Serbian from there on out. She broke Konta early in final set, and while the Briton did manage to break back midway through Krunic held her nerve and returned the unwelcome favour, eventually clinching a 6-4 set victory and progression into the second round, where she will face Croatian Ajla Tomljanović.
The victory was only Krunic's second over a player ranked in the top 10, but Konta's exit from the first round of a major was anything but an anomaly - the Sydney-born 26-year-old also suffered an early exit at the French Open. Konta also missed the chance to elevate herself to world number one at Flushing Meadows as she crashed out rather unceremoniously.