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Defending Champion Kuznetsova Eliminated in US Open


Fifth-seeded Svetlana of Russia has become the first women's defending champion to be eliminated in the first round of the U.S. Open in the tennis tournament's history.

Kuznetsova fell to 20-year-old compatriot Ekaterina Byrchkova 6-3, 6-2 in New York on Monday, recalling countrywoman and defending champion Anastasia Myskina's first-round exit at the French Open in May.

In other women's matches, fourth-seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium defeated Martina Muller of Germany, 6-1, 6-2, No. 8 Serena Williams of the United States beat 16-year-old Taiwanese qualifier Yung-Jan Chan, 6-1, 6-3 and ninth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia topped Eva Birnerova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-4.

Earlier, former French Open champion Gaston Gaudio became the first men's upset victim, falling to American Brian Baker in straight sets. The 20-year-old Baker defeated the ninth-seeded Argentine 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 on the opening day of play at the season's final Grand Slam.

Things went better for second-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain, who beat American Bobby Reynolds 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Other men's seeds advancing included number-18 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, 23rd-seeded Czech Jiri Novak and his countryman, number-32 Tomas Berdych.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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