Sofia Kenin's nightmare Australian trip has hit a new low in a result that has sent shockwaves through the tennis world.
Unranked Australian teenager Olivia Gadecki completed Kenin's miserable summer with a stunning win over the fallen Australian Open champion at Melbourne Park.
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The 18-year-old wildcard from the Gold Coast sent the American packing from the Phillip Island Trophy WTA event with a 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 second-round victory on Sunday.
Incredibly, it was the first time in 24 years that an unranked teenager had defeated a top 10 player in a WTA event.
Kenin entered the WTA 250 event after her Australian Open title defence ended in tears last week, courtesy of a second round loss to Kaia Kanepi.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 11, 2021
Any hopes Kenin may have had about regaining form or confidence were dealt a devastating blow as the 22-year-old suffered another crushing defeat.
Gadecki could scarcely believe what she'd achieved afterwards, describing the victory over the World No.4 as "crazy".
"After that first set I was still trying to find my feet, find my way in the match," Gadecki said.
"But then something kind of clicked at 3-2.
"I was like, 'you know what, I have nothing to lose here, I'm just going to go out here and have a good swing' and then yeah, it carried on to the third set.
"... all I know is that I'm not ranked, and I just beat No. 4 in the world, which is crazy."
The tennis world was left equally as gobsmacked by Kenin's latest shock defeat Down Under.
🚨 MASSIVE UPSET ALERT 🚨
Aussie Olivia Gadecki - ranked 7️⃣2️⃣7️⃣ - knocks off last year's Aus Open champion, Sofia Kenin, in the first round of the Phillip Island Trophy! 🤯#9WWOS #AusOpen #AO2021 pic.twitter.com/eM388uOc0B
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) February 14, 2021
Sofia Kenin just lost to an UNRANKED 18 year old Aussie with a 7-7 Pro Record and zero previous Top 200 wins
Unimaginably horrible loss
— Josh Gross (@josh3302) February 14, 2021
Sofia Kenin continues to struggle as she bombs out of WTA 250 in the second round.
— TennisHandicapper (@TennisHandicap1) February 14, 2021
— wta (@WTA) February 14, 2021
Incredible result in the @WTA Phillip Island Trophy tennis tournament in Melbourne with 18 year old Aussie Olivia Gadecki defeating world number 4 Sofia Kenin 2-6 7-6 6-4#GoAussies @TennisAustralia #WTA
— Aaron Eugol (@ajl247) February 14, 2021
Kenin is really in a slump. Needs to find that spark. Hang in there @SofiaKenin .
— Charles (@Bvgn) February 14, 2021
Sofia Kenin... What's going on? https://t.co/UT7aWgdXEM
— Biola Solace-Chukwu (@Beeorlicious) February 14, 2021
🚨 A shocker in Melbourne. 🚨
Australian teen Olivia Gadecki, currently unranked, makes it an absolute trip Down Under to forget for Sofia Kenin after defeating the 2020 #AusOpen champ, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, at the #PhillipIslandWTA.
— TENNIS (@Tennis) February 14, 2021
Carrying AUD $302,500 in prize money and precious rankings points, the Phillip Island Trophy offered early-round Open losers a chance to atone.
But for top-seeded Kenin - who was among three grand slam champions in the draw - it only provided more despair.
The 22-year-old had also lost in the quarter-finals of the Yarra Valley Classic, meaning the WTA's 2020 player of the year only won three matches in three events in Australia.
Aussie teen credits Barty training work
For Gadecki, it's clearly the biggest win of her career.
Her first victory in the professional ranks only came last month at Australian Open qualifying in Dubai.
That result earned her a wildcard for this week's tournament.
She vindicated her entry with a first-round win over fellow Australian Destanee Aiava on Saturday before turning the tournament upside down with Sunday's triumph.
Gadecki trained with world No.1 Ash Barty during pre-season and had her fellow Queenslander watching on from the stands.
"I've been very fortunate enough to have Ash training in Brisbane and she gave me the opportunity to do her preseason and also my preseason with her," Gadecki said.
"So I wouldn't have been able to do what I did today without all her help and her time and effort."
Gadecki's victory earned her a last-16 crack at either Swede Rebecca Peterson or Belgian Greet Minnen.
"This win means that I'm not far, and I can really do this," she said.
"I feel like I can really make this dream of mine a reality."
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