FILE – Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Sofia Kenin of the U.S. looks dejected after losing her second round match against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi REUTERS/Loren Elliott
Beaten Australian Open titleholder Sofia Kenin’s slump deepened as she was stunned by unranked teenager Olivia Gadecki at the Phillip Island Trophy on Sunday.
Kenin, whose maiden Grand Slam title defense ended in the second round this week, suffered an almost unthinkable defeat by the 18-year-old Australian, who won 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
Kenin, the world number four, had been in tears after her straight-sets Australian Open loss to Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi on Thursday.
But the American top seed also failed to get further than the second round in the Phillip Island Trophy, which is being held alongside the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Gadecki becomes the first unranked player to beat top-10 opposition in 24 years, following a 15-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s win over Amanda Coetzer in the 1997 Bol semifinals.
The Gold Coast resident, who had never before played anyone inside the top 200, has just $2,189 in career prize money — compared to the $2.8 million Kenin picked up for winning the Australian Open last year.
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