MINSK, 24 January (BelTA) – Belarus' world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka lost to Estonia's world number 115 Kaia Kanepi, 7-5, 2-6, 6-7 (7-10), in the Australian Open round of Last 16, BelTA has learned.
The Estonian will next play Poland's world number 9 Iga Swiatek.
Aryna Sabalenka saw off Australia's world number 128 Storm Sanders, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, in the opening round and rallied to beat China's world number 100 Wang Xinyu, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the second. In the third round the Belarusian proved stronger over world number 41 Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Earlier, two-time winner of the Australian Open Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, currently ranked 25, failed to reach the quarterfinal in Melbourne, losing to world number 4 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, 2-6, 2-6. The former world number one kicked off her campaign in Melbourne with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Hungary's world number 98 Panna Udvardy. Then, Victoria Azarenka picked up a swift victory over world number 34 Jil Belen Teichmann of Switzerland, 6-1, 6-2, and dismissed Ukraine's world number 17 Elina Svitolina, 6-0, 6-2, to reach the fourth round. The Belarusian won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013.
In the other Australian Open women's singles quarterfinals world number 4 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic will face world number 51 Madison Keys of the United States, world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia will take on world number 21 Jessica Pegula of the United States, and France's world number 61 Alize Cornet will play world number 30 Danielle Collins of the United States.
The first tournament of the new Grand Slam season will be over on 30 January. The event's prize money totals $53.9 million. Last year the Australian Open men's event was won by Serbia's Novak Djokovic, the women's event by Naomi Osaka of Japan.