US Open: Konta tumbles out but Edmund eases his way through

Britain's Johanna Konta returns on her way to defeat against Aleksandra Krunic, of Serbia (Picture: (Frank Franklin II/AP).
Britain's Johanna Konta returns on her way to defeat against Aleksandra Krunic, of Serbia (Picture: (Frank Franklin II/AP).
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British No 1 Johanna Konta suffered a shock loss to Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic in the opening round of the US Open.

But Beverley’s Kyle Edmund opened his campaign in impressive fashion with a straight-sets first-round victory over seeded Dutchman Robin Haase.

After Andy Murray’s withdrawal, Britain’s hopes predominantly rested on the shoulders of world No 7 Konta.

Her brilliant run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon marked her out as a contender for the title in New York on her favoured hard courts and she went into the tournament as one of eight players in the race to be world No 1.

But the 26-year-old never looked comfortable against 78th-ranked Krunic and lost 4-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes.

Krunic looked a good draw on paper but the Serbian showed how dangerous she can be here three years ago when she defeated Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova on her way to the fourth round.

She has done little of note since, but is a fearless ball striker and a player who can take advantage of a big name having a bad day.

British men’s No 2 Edmund, full of confidence after reaching the semi-finals at the Winston-Salem Open last week, won 6-3 7-5 6-3 in under two hours and will next play American Steve Johnson for a place in the third round.

Edmund, who controlled the match from the back of the court, used his booming forehand to pummel Haase into submission and broke his opponent’s serve on five occasions.

The Briton clinched the decisive first break of the match in the eighth game of the opening set to lead 5-3 before serving out to win it 6-3 in 37 minutes.

Edmund was first to break serve again in the second set to open up a 5-3 lead and although Haase broke the Briton for the only time in the next game and then held to level it up at 5-5, the Yorkshireman did not falter.

He broke Haase again immediately after and stayed on the front foot to seal the second set 7-5 after 50 minutes.

Haase’s disappointment was compounded when he lost serve for a fourth time in the opening game of the third set.

Edmund went on to seal victory by breaking again at 5-3 up after the Dutchman double-faulted on his first match point.

British No 5 Cameron Norrie marked his US Open debut with an easy win over Russian Dmitry Tursunov who retired at the start of the third set because of a knee injury with his opponent 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 ahead and cruising.

Norrie is the latest British hope to emerge, the 22-year-old honing his game on the college tennis circuit in the United States before turning professional in May. He has not looked back since, pushing his ranking high enough to get into qualifying at Flushing Meadows and then rolling through three matches without dropping a set.

Heather Watson failed to end her miserable run of results at the US Open as she lost a seventh successive first-round match, to Alize Cornet.

The British No 2 insisted ahead of the tournament that the sequence was simply coincidence rather than anything to do with the courts or the event.

She won the junior tournament in 2009, but has not managed a single win in the seniors. This match was a frustrating one for the 25-year-old, who paid for poor starts in both sets and fell to a 6-4 6-4 defeat.