Amanda Anisimova continues to break new ground at Melbourne Park, the youngest woman left in the draw dismantling No.11 seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 6-2 to soar into the Australian Open fourth round.
The teenager had not won a Grand Slam main draw match before this week, but locked in a last-16 contest with either eighth seed Petra Kvitova or the resurgent Belinda Bencic.
Sabalenka had been touted by many as a dark horse for the title next Sunday, but was outgunned by the free-swinging world No.87, who becomes the first men’s or women’s player born in the 2000s to reach a major fourth round.
“This is an unreal feeling, I can’t believe this is happening right now.” Anisimova said.
“Probably one of the best matches of my life ... I played really well today.
“She's a really tough opponent, so I was just really preparing myself for a really tough match. I was putting it all out there. I was staying relaxed, I just made sure I had fun, so I was playing really well.”
It’s only a year and a half since Anisimova was crowned Junior US Open champion, and she is adamant a change in belief has prompted her electric start at Melbourne Park.