US Open - Konta succumbs to classy Caroline Garcia in first round
Johanna Konta's disappointing run at Grand Slams continued with a comprehensive defeat by sixth seed Caroline Garcia in the US Open heat.
The British number one was beaten 6-2 6-2 has now only won two matches at the last five slams combined, although this was by far the most difficult draw she has had.
That was a legacy of the fall down the rankings that meant Konta was not seeded at a slam for the first time since the 2016 Australian Open.
She has shown improved form of late, producing her best two wins of the year by dismissing Serena Williams for the loss of just one game and then defeating former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
But Garcia, who has been heading in the other direction and denied Konta a place at the WTA Finals last year, proved far too strong. This was their first meeting since Konta won a tight three-set tussle at Wimbledon last summer, and this result was a reflection of how things have gone for both since then.
It was here last year where Konta's dramatic slump began with a shock first-round loss to Aleksandra Krunic. She did not win another match all season and on the eve of this tournament opened up about the burn-out that left her feeling unable to compete.
She insisted she is in a much better place now despite her ranking having dropped to 46 but she was looking for a first win over a top-10 opponent since Wimbledon last year and Garcia was simply stronger in all aspects.
The Frenchwoman's serve in particular was very impressive, sending down seven aces and denying Konta a break point throughout the match. Two early double faults did not help Konta and, although her serve and game improved, the damage had already been done as Garcia clinched victory after an hour and 15 minutes.