Aryna Sabalenka news: World No 2 surrenders to Kaia Kanepi to crash out of Aus Open
Aryna Sabalenka suffered a shock defeat to Estonian player Kaia Kanepi who will now progress to the quarter finals of the Australian Open.
The Belarussian was supposed to be nipping at the heels of world No 1 Ashleigh Barty and be her biggest threat in the tournament, but that hasn’t happened as she lost her fourth round match 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (10/7).
It looked like Sabalenka had turned a corner at the start of the match as she won the first set, something she hadn’t done three matches in row, but maybe she should have surrendered the opening set as that seemed to be her winning formula in Melbourne up until now.
The world No 2 was punished for her mistakes by her opponent as Kanepi took advantage of Sabalenka’s back-to-back double faults to take the lead 4-0 before claiming victory in the second set.
Although the Wimbledon semi-finalist didn’t go quietly as she saved four break points to prevent to score going to 5-3, she did have yet more troubles with her service which resulted in her making three double faults in four points.
— Kaia Kanepi (@KanepiKaia) January 24, 2022
Despite her efforts at the death of the game where she saved four match points as the 36-year-old Estonian struggled to end the match after being 40-0 up, Kanepi prevailed and eventually scored her fifth matchpoint.
“It was a really tough match,” Kanepi, former world No 15, revealed.
“Actually I thought I was going to lose after the match points I had on my serve were saved, I don’t know how I won.
“The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam where I hadn’t made the quarter finals and I didn’t believe I could do it at my age.”
Kanepi, who beat three time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber in the opening round in Melbourne, has been rewarded for her massive upset with a quarter final tie against former French Open champion Iga Swiatek from Poland who beat Sorana Cirstea in the previous round, with them due to play their quarter final match on Wednesday.
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