Aryna Sabalenka‘s 15-match winning streak that included titles in Ostrava, Linz and Abu Dhabi was ended by Kaia Kanepi in the second round of the Gippsland Trophy, an Australian Open warm-up tournament at Melbourne Park.
In their first career meeting, the world No.94 Kanepi recorded a topsy-turvy 6-1 2-6 6-1 victory over the seventh-ranked Sabalenka. The Estonian was twice two points away from defeat in the first round against Australian wildcard Astra Sharma, but after recovering from 6-1 5-3 down to win that match on Sunday, she found the rhythm which helped her against the red-hot Belarusian on Tuesday afternoon.
Commenting on her game, the former Top 15 player Kanepi said after the match:
When I play well and aggressive, I think it’s tough for anybody to beat me.
The 35-year-old Kanepi is the oldest player in the Gippsland Trophy draw and this is her 12th career win over a Top 10 opponent.