MELBOURNE – Birthday girl Angelique Kerber humiliated Australian wildcard Kimberly Birrell 6-1 6-0 to storm into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday and complete a late-night horror show for the locals at Rod Laver Arena.
Just after Rafa Nadal subjected Australian number one Alex de Minaur to a straight sets humbling, second seed Kerber pounded into Birrell like a freight train, and sent the 240th-ranked 20-year-old packing after 58 scarring minutes.
Shell-shocked under the lights in front of a packed centre court crowd, Birrell simply had nowhere to hide as the former world number one celebrated her 31st birthday by pummelling her opponent.
Kerber has enjoyed a birthday serenade from friendly Melbourne crowds for a number of years, but after seeing Birrell eviscerated, the terraces were hardly in full voice.
The German was unconcerned by the crowd’s heartbreak.