Kaia Kanepi (WTA 94th), enjoying a streak of great play recently, took her 13th consecutive victory on Wednesday morning, beating Russian Darya Kasatkina (WTA 71th) in straight sets at a WTA 500 tournament in Melbourne, Australia.
After defeating world seventh-ranked Arina Sabalenka on Tuesday, Kanepi faced Kasatkina and took a 2:0 (7:5, 6:1) victory in an hour and 17 minutes with the opening set taking 53 minutes.
Kanepi saved three breaks in two of her serve games in the opening set, able to take advantage of a break opportunity during one of Kasatkina's serves. Kanepi took leads of 3:0 and 5:2, but then dropped three consecutive games to tie the game at 5:5. Kanepi came out on top in the next two games to follow, taking the set 7:5.
The powerful Estonian then pushed the tempo in the second set, rattling off five straight games to start the set. Kasatkina then took one game back, but Kanepi eventually closed the set with a dominating 6:1 win.
Kanepi's serves were much better than in her previous two matches, with her first serve success percentage sitting at 55 percent, her second serve success was 94 percent on Wednesday. Kanepi also served up two aces and committed as many double faults. Kasatkina served three aces and also two double faults.
Kanepi will face off next against Karolina Muchova (WTA 27th) of the Czech Republic who was able to defeat world 97-ranked Italian jasmine Paolini in three sets in the third round. Kanepi and Muchova have never faced off before.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste