Wimbledon champion and world no. 4 Angelique Kerber has been knocked out of the US Open in New York by Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova. Kerber's defeat means there are no German players left in the women's draw.
Germany's Angelique Kerber crashed out of the third round of the US Open on Saturday, losing in three sets to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia. Keber's defeat means the New York grand slam will go into its second week without a German player in the women's draw.
The 30-year-old from Kiel, who triumphed at Flushing Meadows back in 2016, lost to 29th seed Cibulkova after 2 hours and 13 minutes of play, 6-3, 3-6, 3-6.
Kerber broke Cibulkova in the first game of the match and went on to take the first set, but that was as good as it got for the fourth seed. The second set was all Cibulkova.
Instead of going on the offensive, Kerber allowed herself to fall behind and never recovered. While she her lackluster style were enough for her progress through the first two rounds, it proved fatal against the lively Slovak.
Kerber entered the tournament as the fourth favorite but rarely managed to convince. In the first round she struggled at times against Russia's Margarita Gasparyan, who is ranked 366 places below her.
Her second round tie against the unseeded Johanna Larsson of Sweden did not prove much easier. Up a set and a break, Kerber was serving for the match at 6-2, 5-2. However, she saw two match points come and go as Larsson upped her game to embark on an inspired comeback effort. The No.4 seed held her ground to ultimately triumph in three sets, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Kerber and Cibulkova are frequent
Kerber and Cibulkova are frequent rivals, having played each other 12 times with Kerber besting the Slovak with seven wins.
This year's US Open has already seen its share of upsets, after the top two seeds, French Open winner Simona Halep of Romania and Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki, were eliminated in the second round. Last year's winner Sloane Stephens and six-time US Open winner Serena Williams are now considered the top favorites to win the grand slam.
Cibulkova will play Madison Keyes in the quarter finals.
av/dm (AP, Reuters, SDI)