MELBOURNE – Ninth seed Kiki Bertens crashed out of the Australian Open Wednesday after squandering a one set lead in her second-round match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The Dutchwoman appeared to be cruising after taking the first set but was unable to handle a spirited fightback from world number 44 Pavlyuchenkova, going down 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
It was a disappointing result for Bertens, who had a breakthrough year with three titles in 2018 and reached the semi-finals of the Sydney International warm-up tournament.
However, the 27-year-old has a poor history at Melbourne Park, only advancing past the second round once in eight appearances.
In contrast, Pavlyuchenkova made a run to the quarter-finals in 2017, where she lost to Venus Williams.
She was thrilled to take the scalp of the world number nine.
“I was maybe a little more lucky in the end, but she's a tough opponent, she's top 10, that's a super great win for me,” she said.
Pavlyuchenkova said she worked hard after going down a set.
“There's no magic, you just have to work every point,” she said.
The Russian will play Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the third round after the Belarusian dumped 20th seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia from the tournament.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)