Britain had a mixed start to the American tournament with Andy Murray missing out through injury
JO KONTA couldn’t give British tennis much hope for life after Andy Murray as she slumped to a shock US Open defeat.
No 7 seed Konta was unrecognisable from the player who stormed to the semi finals of Wimbledon, losing 4-6 6-3 6-4 to Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic.
The world No 78 is a much better player than her current ranking suggests.
But this was still a huge shock as Krunic knocked Konta out in the first round in New York.
Konta seemed to be cruising when she led 4-1 with a double break.
But Krunic clawed her way back to 4-4 and although a double fault gave Konta the chance to serve for the first set, which she took, the warning signs were there.
The Brit’s serve had already come under pressure in the second set before the Serb broke for a 5-3 lead and levelled the match.
The alarm bells began ringing even louder when Krunic broke for a 2-1 lead. Konta immediately recovered but then dropped her serve again in the seventh game after another unconvincing approach shot.
Krunic did not let the chance pass her by, and Konta had no answer.
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HEATHER WATSON battled hard but couldn’t prevent her SEVENTH first-round exit in a row in New York.
The 2009 US junior champion twice came back from a break down in the second set against France’s Alize Cornet.
Watson twice held points for a 5-4 lead but lost her serve again and world No 46 Cornet closed out the match 6-4 6-4
The opening game ended up setting the tone of the match.
Watson lost her serve and although she saved three set points at 3-5, she could not stop Cornet from serving out the first set.
Her New York hoodoo continued and left Jo Konta all alone as the only British woman in the singles draw at lunchtime on the first day.
KYLE EDMUND showed off his feisty side as he stepped confidently into Murray’s shoes.
The British No 2 said sorry to the umpire for being aggressive in a second-set exchange about a disputed linecall.
But Edmund had no need to apologise for that or his performance in his debut as Britain’s highest-ranked man at a Grand Slam.
Replacing the injured Murray as the nation’s male hope may still be a few years off but this was a mature, encouraging display by the 22 year old.
Edmund controlled the match from baseline with his powerful forehand and gave little hope to Haase, who had previously caused problems for Murray at this tournament.
The Brit broke the serve of the No 32 seed in the eighth game and served out the opening set.
Edmund saved two break points against him in the sixth game of the second and then converted his fifth opportunity on the Haase serve in the next.
He failed to serve out the second set at the first time of asking, but two Haase double faults gave him another chance which he gratefully took.
A final double fault by the Dutchman gifted Edmund the match 6-3 7-5 6-3.
CAMERON NORRIE landed his first Grand Slam victory against crocked Dmitry Tursunov.
The Russian retired with a knee injury after losing the second set, sending the British No 5 through 7-6 6-1.
Norrie, whose dad is Scottish and mum Welsh, had already battled through qualifying and took full advantage of being drawn against a player who was contemplating retirement.
Veteran Tursunov, 36, might have fought on for longer had he not lost the tense first-set tiebreak.
Norrie failed to convert his first set point, then saved one against him before clinching the breaker 9-7.
The Brit quickly fell a break behind in the second set, but recovered and ran away with it. Tursunov received treatment at 1-4 behind and soon decided enough was enough.