World No.1 Ashleigh Barty’s position at the top of the rankings is now in jeopardy following her defeat at the hands of Sofia Kenin, the world No.29.
It just wasn't there today, At times I was missing by big margins, which is not something that I'm very used to or comfortable with. Ashleigh Barty
Barty, the French Open champion, who was competing for the first time since her fourth-round exit at Wimbledon, started off well by taking the first set but then lost her way over the next two to lose out 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4.
“It just wasn’t there today,” Barty declared. “At times I was missing by big margins, which is not something that I’m very used to or comfortable with.”
That surprise defeat opens the door for either Naomi Osaka or Karolina Pliskova to take over the top slot once they get their respective challenges under way on Wednesday.
Osaka is the front-runner to return to the summit, but Pliskova could have a chance if she makes the semi-finals.
“I couldn’t tell you from a bar of soap what’s going on with the rankings,” Barty admitted. “It’s not something that I worry about or focus on. Regardless of whether it’s number 10, it’s number 50, 200 or it’s number one, it’s just a number next to your name.”
Pliskova faces US qualifier Alison Riske, who saved three match points on the way to a 4-6 6-2 7-6(7) victory over Greece’s Maria Sakkari.
Croatia’s Donna Vekic also saved three match points on her way to a 3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(5) win over American Madison Keys while the seventh seeded American Sloane Stephens fell 6-2 7-5 to Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova.
Teenager Bianca Andreescu won her first match since Roland Garros, rallying to beat her Canadian compatriot, the former world number five Eugenie Bouchard 4-6 6-1 6-4 during the night session.
Andreescu, 19, has been battling a nagging shoulder injury since Paris and was playing her first match since the French Open.
“It’s been a rollercoaster,” Andreescu said. “But I’ve been preparing really well for the last couple weeks, and that preparation really showed tonight.”