Simona Halep crashed out of the US Open after repeatedly smacking her racket on the court in an out-of-character meltdown

  • Simona Halep smashed her racket as she crashed out of the US Open in the second round, losing to the unseeded American Taylor Townsend.
  • The Romanian, ranked fourth in the world, lost 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (4-7) to Townsend, who secured her first ever win over a top ten player.
  • Townsend, who had once dropped out of the WTA's top 300 in 2015, said the victory was a "very defining moment for me to realize that I belong here."
  • Townsend takes on Halep's compatriot Sorana Cirstea in the third round Saturday. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Simona Halep took her frustrations out on her racket as she crashed out of the 2019 US Open in the second round, losing to the 23-year-old Taylor Townsend.

The Romanian, a two-time Grand Slam winner, was beaten by 116th-ranked Townsend in three sets at Flushing Meadows on Thursday, the defeat being her first in four matches against the American.

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Halep took the first set with ease 6-2, however the momentum turned in the second, with Townsend storming to a 6-3 win.

Halep was on the back foot early in the third, and with scores one game apiece, the current world number four smashed her racket into the floor not once, but four times.

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Sights from the 2019 U.S. Open
TOPSHOT - Alexander Zverev of Germany reacts as he plays against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina during their Round Four Men's Singles at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 2, 2019. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
2019 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Eight. Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts to his incredible shot that set up match point against Marin Cilic of Croatia in the Men's Singles round four match on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the 2019 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 2nd, 2019 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 01: Serena Williams of the United States takes a fall during her fourth round Women's Singles match against Petra Martic of Croatia on day seven of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 1, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Chaz Neill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 31: Cori Gauff of the United States and Naomi Osaka of Japan speak following their Women's Singles third round match on day six of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Serena Williams of the United States serves during of her Women's Singles round three match against Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic on day five of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Matteo Berrettini, of Italy, bites his shirt after defeating Andrey Rublev, of Russia, during the fourth round of the US Open tennis championships Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Sarah Stier)
Taylor Townsend, of the United States, reacts after losing a point to Bianca Andreescu, of Canada, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, walks off the court as he retires during his match against Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Gael Monfils, of France, returns a shot to Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Coco Gauff, of the United States, waves as she walks off court after a loss to Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 26: Serena Williams of the United States hits a backhand against Maria Sharapova of Russia in the first round of the US Open in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by TPN/Getty)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: Serena Williams of the United States reacts during her Women's Singles second round match against Catherine McNally of the United States on day three of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot during his Men's Singles second round match against Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina on day three of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 26: Cameron Norrie of Great Britain returns a shot during his men's singles first round match against Gregoire Barrere of France during day one of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Roberto Carballes Baena, of Spain, during the first round of the US Open tennis tournament Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after winning a point at the net against Caty McNally, of the United States, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Rafael Nadal, of Spain, celebrates after defeating John Millman, of Australia, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: Venus Williams (L) of the United States shakes hands with Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine after losing to her in her Women's Singles second round match on day three of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 28: Roger Federer of Switzerland reaches to return a shot against Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina during their Men's Singles second round match on day three of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 27: Cori Gauff of the United States celebrates match point against Anastasia Potapova of Russia during their Women's Singles first round match on day two of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 27, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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The 27-year-old's new racket seemed to have done the trick as she won the third game and later secured a match point, however she couldn't take advantage, with Townsend pulling the scores back to eventually win the match in a thrilling tie breaker. 

"I'm not surprised because she can play well," Halep told reporters after the shock defeat at the post-match press conference. "If she comes to the net, if she can keep this rhythm, it's something big.

"But always when you play with top player, you have nothing to lose. You feel free on court. So that's why maybe she was able to do it 100 percent correct."

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Townsend has previously won singles and doubles junior titles at the 2012 Australian Open, however has endured a difficult career since turning pro at 16 years old.

Before her victory over Halep, the American had never beaten a top ten player, and at one point had dropped out of the WTA's top 300 in 2015, but now hopes to kick on from the first major victory of her career.

"It's been a long road. A lot of haters. A lot of people who weren't sure. I mean, I've heard it for a really long time that I was never going to make it, that I wasn't going to be able to break through or do this or do that," Townsend told ESPN.

"This was a huge, monumental moment. It was a very defining moment for me to realize that I belong here."

Townsend takes on Halep's countrywoman Sorana Cirstea in the third round Saturday. 

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