NEW YORK Aug 28 Ninth seed Daniela Hantuchova
became the highest seeded casualty in the women's singles at the
U.S. Open on Tuesday when she was upset 6-4 3-6 6-1 by Ukrainian
The Slovak made 32 unforced errors as she suffered her
earliest exit at Flushing Meadows since she lost on her debut in
"Obviously it was not my best performance today," Hantuchova
"I had my opportunities but I think she played very well,
especially in the third set. I had my chances and didn't take
World number 50 Vakulenko took the first set but the ninth
seed looked back on track when she levelled at one set apiece.
However, Vakulenko then broke the Hantuchova serve twice to
clinch victory and set up a second-round match with Croat Jelena
Having ended last year as the world number 18, Hantuchova
hit top form in March, winning her second career title at Indian
Wells and has reached four semi-finals this year.
However, an illness in Los Angeles earlier this month set
her back and she lost her first match in New Haven last week.
"I felt fine here," Hantuchova said. "I felt very good.
Today was just one of those things that is hard to understand."
The Slovak said she still harboured hopes of qualifying for
the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships, for the top
eight-ranked players of the calendar year.
"It was not a goal at the start of the year but as I started
to do better, it (qualifying) became my number one priority,"
said Hantuchova, who was 10th in the standings going into the
"It's going to be tough but I still have chances. I may add
a couple more tournaments to my schedule if I am doing well."