Caroline Wozniacki and Ons Jabeur out of Australian Open as 16-year-old makes history

Two tennis fan favourite's were at the centre of shock scenes on Wednesday.

Pictured left to right, tennis stars Ons Jabeur, Mirra Andreeva and Caroline Wozniacki.
Ons Jabeur and Caroline Wozniacki were both eliminated at the Australian Open on a day where 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva claimed her biggest scalp. Pic: Getty

Russian young guns Mirra Andreeva and Mari Timofeeva have sent shockwaves around the tennis world after dispatching tennis fan favourites Ons Jabeur and Caroline Wozniacki, respectively, on day four at the Australian Open. On another day of high drama in the women's draw, former Australian Open champion Wozniacki and sixth seed Jabeur became the latest big-name stars to fall.

Tunisia's three-time grand slam runner-up Jabeur was the first to be eliminated from the second round on Wednesday after being trounced by 16-year-old sensation, Andreeva. The teenage prodigy finished runner-up in the junior girls competition at Melbourne Park last year and has proven she's more than capable of competing with the best players on the world's biggest stage.

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Andreeva's 6-0 6-2 thumping of Jabeur saw the Russian claim a special piece of history as the second-youngest player (16 years and 263 days old) to defeat a WTA Top-10 player at a major since the start of 2000. It was also the heaviest defeat in Jabeur's grand slam career. Andreeva had already become the youngest player since Coco Gauff to win a singles match at all four of the grand slams after her round one triumph.

The Russian teen is regarded as a superstar of the future but her first win over a player ranked inside the world's top 10 suggests her ascension may have already begun. "I was really nervous before the match because I am really inspired by the way (Jabeur) plays," Andreeva said after the match.

The loss was another cruel blow for Jabeur, who has been a fixture inside the world's top 10 for years but still yet to score her breakthrough grand slam title. The Tunisian has lost the past two Wimbledon deciders, and also came up short in the 2022 US Open final to Iga Swiatek. The 29-year-old has never gone beyond the quarter-finals in seven attempts at the Australian Open.

Russian teen Mirra Andreeva inflicted Ons Jabeur with the heaviest grand slam singles defeat of her tennis career. Pic: Getty
Russian teen Mirra Andreeva inflicted Ons Jabeur with the heaviest grand slam singles defeat of her tennis career. Pic: Getty

Caroline Wozniacki joins Ons Jabeur on Aus Open scrapheap

The same can't be said for former Melbourne Park queen Wozniacki, who was also sent packing from Melbourne Park by another Russian after going down 1-6 6-4 6-1 to qualifier, Timofeeva. The mother-of-two - playing in just the fifth tournament of her comeback - joined fellow former Open winners and mums Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber as early casualties.

Wozniacki came out of the blocks in commanding form against Timofeeva after storming through the opening set in ruthless fashion. However, the 20-year-old Russian qualifier steadied the nerves and quickly grew into the contest and eventually prevailed against the former World No.1 in two hours and 21 minutes.

"I'm really a bit speechless," Timofeeva said after the match. "It's an honour play here against Caroline. "I went into the match without any expectations, just wanted to show what I was capable of." Tennis fans were equally as gobsmacked by the shock exits of Wozniacki and Jabeur, with social media sent into a frenzy on Wednesday.

with AAP

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