Former champion Angelique crashed out of the Australian Open on Tuesday which is also her 34th birthday. Her opponent Kaia Kanepi came from a break down in the second set to win 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
For the first time since 1977, there are no female German players in the second round at the Australian Open. On Monday, the other two players, Andrea Petkovic and Tatjana Maria, were eliminated.
Reported by WTA Staff
The result was the ninth time Kanepi has beaten a seed in the first round of a major, and her 14th defeat of a seed across the first two rounds. Her first Grand Slam upset of a seed was over Flavia Pennetta in the first round of the 2007 Australian Open, and at Roland Garros 2008 she scored her first Top 10 win at a major over Anna Chakvetadze. Kerber was previously a Kanepi victim in the second round of Wimbledon 2013.
This week had seen Kanepi fall out of the Top 100 to No.115, but this did not dim her ability to club 31 winners to 21 unforced errors across the match. Kerber, whose preparation for the Australian Open was hampered after she tested positive for Covid-19, showed flashes of valiant defence, particularly in attempting to seize momentum in the second set.
But the German former World No.1 lacked her usual sharpness on big points and committed 19 unforced errors to 18 winners. Kanepi now leads their overall head-to-head 3-2.