Estonian veteran Kanepi upsets No. 2 seed Sabalenka in Australia
Kaia Kanepi advanced to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in the final match on Day 8 of the tournament.
The 115th-ranked Kanepi upset second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7).
The women’s fourth-round match was scheduled for the main court but had to be shifted to the adjoining Margaret Court Arena because of a late-finishing day session.
Kanepi, 36, wasted four match points when she served for the match in the third set before finally clinching it in the tiebreaker.
“I thought I was going to lose it after the match points I had on my serve,” said the Estonian, who had reached the quarterfinals twice at each of the other three majors. “It was difficult to come back.
“Australian Open was the only quarterfinal of a Grand Slam I was missing. At my age, I didn’t believe I would do it.”
Kanepi wrapped it up just after midnight to set up a showdown against 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Sorana Cirstea 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.