World No.1 Angelique Kerber’s build-up for next week’s Australian Open suffered a big blow as she was defeated in straight sets to Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina in the second round of the Sydney International on Tuesday.
19-year-old Kasatkina booked a place in the quarterfinals of the tournament by winning 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 against two-time grand slam winner Kerber.
“It’s difficult to explain really. I beat the number one in the world and it doesn’t happen every day,” Kasatkina said in the interview.
“I think I will get some confidence,” she said referring to the year’s first grand slam, starting on Monday in Melbourne.
While Kerber was ousted, sixth-seeded Johanna Konta succeeded and made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
The Briton battled a 6-1, 6-3 victory over the Russian-born Australian Daria Gavrilova in 81 minutes. She will face Kerber’s conqueror Kasatkina in the last-eight clash.
“I knew going into the match it was going to be an incredibly tough one, she’s one of the best fighters on tour,” Konta said.