Daria Gavrilova has produced one of the best performances of her career to send world No.1 Angelique Kerber crashing out of the Hong Kong Open.
The Australian world No.38 brushed aside the German 6-3 6-1 in 73 minutes, breaking her serve six times to book her spot in the semi-finals where she’ll face France’s Kristina Mladenovic who’s ranked 54th in the WTA standings.
Gavrilova finished off her win at Victoria Park on the first of three match points as she fired a service winner which Kerber could not handle.
It was the first victory in six meetings for Russian-born eighth seed, who lost to Kerber last June in Birmingham on grass in their last meeting.
“I guess I’m really excited, I’ve played Angie six times and now I’ve finally won, it’s really exciting,” Gavrilova said.
“I was prepared for a battle.
“Angie has had a long season. I didn’t expect to win that easily but I was ready to turn it around and get a win against her.”
Kerber said she felt some discomfort in her shoulder but refused to use it as an excuse for her shock loss.
“I was not playing my best tennis, I know I can play better,” Kerber, said.
“It’s a long season and we’ve been playing 10 months – a lot of matches.
“I felt the shoulder but it’s not a excuse. I was not serving my best. I had a lot more double-faults than is normal for my game.”
Kerber now turns her focus to the year-end championships starting in Singapore in just over a week.
Seventh seed Caroline Wozniacki reached her third semi-final in a month, defeating China’s Wang Qiang 6-3, 7-5.
Defending champion Jelena Jankovic fought a see-saw battle with Alize Cornet, finally winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 as Cornet ended with a 13th double-fault after more than two-and-a-quarter-hours.