The Australian Open might be catching all the headlines, but the concurrent Phillip Island Trophy is generating its fair share of drama.
The WTA tournament already produced a shock upset on Sunday when unheralded Australian teenager Olivia Gadecki stunned world No.4 Sofia Kenin, who joined the tournament after being knocked out of the Australian Open.
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There was more drama to come, with world No.58 Jil Teichmann refused to shake hands with Romanian opponent Mihaela Buzarnescu following her 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 6-3 victory.
Teichmann was still fuming, despite claiming a comeback victory, over a medical timeout Buzarnescu took while trailing 3-5 in the second set.
The Romanian player had called for a physio to tape her knee before ultimately losing the match, but Teichmann was still fuming about the delay after the match.
Walking straight past Buzarnescu and not offering a handshake, the 23-year-old could be heard suggesting to her opponent that she had done so deliberately.
— 🇷🇴WTA Romania🇷🇴 (@WTARomania) February 14, 2021
“5-3 ... it’s just dirty,” Teichmann said.
The comment left 32-year-old Buzarnescu stunned, and she was seen a short time later in tears while in discussion with the chair umpire in a conversation off the court.
Buzarnescu's professional tennis career was stalled multiple times due to injury after first seeking to establish herself on the WTA tour in 2012.
Shoulder and knee injuries that required multiple surgeries prevented her rise to the WTA tour until she finally made her grand slam debut at the age of 29.
She later achieved a career high ranking of 20 after winning her first Tour level tournament.
Buzarnescu in tears, chatting with the umpire after the match. Very upset. I believe Teichmann accused her of faking an injury. #PhillipIslandWTA
— wtaaddict 🧐 (@wtaaddict) February 14, 2021
Unranked Aussie springs huge upset over Sofia Kenin
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.
"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."
Kenin's Open title defence ended in tears three days ago with a shock second-round loss to veteran Kaia Kanepi and now the world No.4 must digest one of the worst defeats of her career.
Carrying $US235,800 ($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.
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