Darya Kasatkina, of Russia, returns a shot from Jelena Ostapenko, of Latvia, during the third round of the US Open.
Darya Kasatkina, of Russia, returns a shot from Jelena Ostapenko, of Latvia, during the third round of the US Open. Andres Kudacki

Icy handshake overshadows French Open champion's exit

FRENCH Open champion Jelena Ostapenko is out of the US Open, losing in the third round 6-3 6-2 to Russian Daria Kasaktina after hitting 38 unforced errors.

While the result was a surprise, more talk was generated by the pair's pleasantries at the net at end of the match.

Ostapenko didn't offer much in the way of the handshake department - and a kiss on the cheek was never going to be on the cards - much to Kasaktina's amusement.

Swiss star Belinda Bencic sarcastically labelled the moment "classy" while Andy Murray's mother Judy also pointed out how awkward it was.

"Jelena Ostapenko has perfected the 'no look' handshake," she tweeted.

Asked in the post-match press conference if her and Kasaktina were friends, Ostapenko had this to say: "I actually don't know her. We just play the same tournaments from the age of 10 or 12. I saw her many times, but I don't know her."

The Latvian 12th seed, who blasted her way to the Roland Garros title in June, got off to a fast start but the unseeded Kasaktina mixed her game with sliced backhands and chopped forehands to slow her opponent down.

"In the beginning I was a little bit nervous but I tried to stay focused and play my game and it paid off," said Kasaktina, who faces Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi for a place in the quarter-finals.

World No.1 Karolina Pliskova, mewanwhile, fought off a match point to claim a riveting 3-6 7-5 6-4 comeback win over Zhang Shuai. She faces American Jennifer Brady early on Monday morning.

The runner-up at Flushing Meadows last year is chasing her first grand slam title.

Men's world No.1 Rafael Nadal recovered from being a set down for the second match in a row to reach the last 16 for a ninth time, beating Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-1 6-4.

Roger Federer cruised through to the fourth round, beating Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-3 7-5.

News Corp Australia

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