Kaia Kanepi through to Australian Open last 16

Kaia Kanepi.
Kaia Kanepi. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Kaia Kanepi, holding the tennis torch for Estonia down under after top player Annet Kontaveit was eliminated on Thursday, is through to the last 16 at the Australian Open in Melbourne, after defeating local player Maddison Inglis in three sets, 2:6, 6:2, 6:0 in her round three encounter.

Kanepi, 36, from Haapsalu and ranked 115th in the world, is on somewhat of a giant-slaying quest, having pulled off a shock round one, straight-sets victory over former top world player Angelique Kerber of Germany, the knocking out Marie Bouzokova in round two.

The result is the furthest she has progressed in the Australian Open in her career, having last reached round three way back in 2009.

Inglis, 24, ranked 18 places below Kanepi in the WTA rankings, broke her opponent's serve in the first game and again in game three, to take the first set 6:2.

However, the Estonian returned the favor in set two by breaking Inglis' serve in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth games to mirror the first set score-line and win 6:2 also.

The deciding set was a procession on the hard courts at Melbourne Park, as Kanepi didn't drop a game in the 25 minutes it took her to win the set 6:0 and with it booking her place in round three, and an encounter with world number two Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus).

The pair met competitively for the first time nearly a year ago, also in Australia and also on hard courts, at the Gippsland Trophy, with Kanepi winning in three sets that time.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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