Last season, the German tennis player defeated American Serena Williams in three sets to win her first ever Grand Slam title. The win at Melbourne Park was the start to what would become the best season of her career.
On Tuesday, Kasatkina defeated Kerber 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. The world No. 1 committed 41 unforced errors in the match. The Russian Kasatkina, however, is a strong player on tour. She currently ranks No. 26 on the WTA Tour and has 7 ITF titles to her name. With just three years of WTA play, the 19-year-old is definitely someone to watch at Melbourne Park next week.
As the defending women’s singles champion at Melbourne Park, Kerber has something to prove. She became world No. 1 in September of 2016 and has managed to retain the ranking since. The Australian Open is the first big test for the world No. 1 in 2017.
If Kerber’s loss Tuesday shows anything, it’s that anything is possible on the 2017 WTA Tour. With a tough young generation of singles players coming into their own, we will see a variety of new names earn top rankings throughout the year.