The Australian Open has its first big upset. But it didn’t look like an upset at all.
Defending champion Sofia Kenin, currently ranked No. 4 in the world, fell in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the second round.
Kanepi was dominant throughout, but Kenin simply had no answer for her serve. The 35-year-old finished with 10 aces while winning 80% of first-serve points; she also had more winners (22-10) and fewer unforced errors (17-22).
It was the second straight match in which Kenin came out looking flat, needing to rally in the first round against Maddison Inglis, ranked No. 130 in the world. Kenin had previously admitted to recent struggles with the mental side of the game while also saying a groin injury sustained before the tournament had cleared up; whatever the problem was, it was clear she was off.
Kanepi, who has four WTA tournament wins in her career and is also known for upsetting Simona Halep in the 2018 US Open, will now advance to third round, where No. 28 seed Donna Vekic awaits.
Top seed Ash Barty holds off countrywoman
The difficulty picked up in the second set, but top seed Ash Barty is moving on.
The WTA No. 1 defeated fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) to advance to the third round of the tournament, where she will face No. 29 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Barty dominated the first set, breaking Gavrilova in all three return games and winning every second-serve return point. She faltered a bit from there, recording 26 unforced errors in the second set, but emerged victorious in a tiebreaker for the win.
Once it was all over, Barty’s priority was pushing the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to interviewer Casey Dellacqua:
More from Yahoo Sports: