Rising teen Clara Tauson of Denmark upset No.6 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, while dangerous veteran Alize Cornet of France overcame No.3 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain as two top-10 seeds were eliminated in the women’s section of the Australian Open here on Thursday.
Cornet, playing in her 63rd Grand Slam tournament and 17th Australian Open, breezed past 2020 Australian Open runner-up Muguruza 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round in Melbourne for the sixth time in her career.
It is the 10th win over a top-five player for former world No.11 Cornet in the 31-year-old’s career, and her first since she beat then No.4 Sofia Kenin of the US at the Western & Southern Open a year-and-a-half ago.
It also continues a pattern of success for Cornet against Muguruza, as the Frenchwoman takes a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head. Cornet lost their first two meetings but has now won their last three, including last year on the grass in Berlin.
“It was a very good match, very right tactically from the beginning till the end,” Cornet was quoted as saying by wtatennis.com after the match. “It’s been awhile (since I) beat a top-five player in a slam, so it’s a really good feeling.
“I really enjoyed it today, which doesn’t mean I will enjoy it tomorrow! That’s why when the fun is here, you have to take it. You never know how you’re going to apprehend, feel the next match.”
Tauson upended Kontaveit 6-2, 6-4 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam event for the first time in her career. The rising 19-year-old, currently ranked at a career-high World No.39, needed just an hour and 19 minutes to claim her first top-10 win, in only her second match against top-10 opposition.
Former No.1 junior Tauson continues her rapid rise into the upper echelon of the women’s game. The Dane started 2021 outside the top-100 but picked up her first two WTA singles titles last year, in Lyon and Luxembourg.
For 2020 Australian Open quarterfinalist Kontaveit, the loss quells her own incredible rise, where she won 28 of her last 32 matches in 2021 to crack the Top 10.
“I think everything was working,” Tauson said. “I felt really comfortable on court. It was a nice court to play on. The weather was really good today. I just felt really good out there. Just went for everything and it worked today.
“It’s the first time I’m in the third round of a Slam. Playing a player like her to reach it, it’s a really big achievement for me. Obviously it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments.
“Doing it in a Slam is a really great feeling. It’s just a lot of hard work that I’ve put into it. That it’s here already in one of the first tournaments of the year is a really nice feeling. But I still have some work to do. I cannot be too happy with the win today, but I am really happy.”
Tauson will next face No.27 seed Danielle Collins of the United States in the third round. Collins beat Ana Konjuh of Croatia 6-4, 6-3 in their second-round clash.