Clara purring like a koala: Young Dane upsets seventh seed to advance to final 32 of Australian Open
Clara Tauson has today emphatically dispatched Anett Kontaveit, the Estonian world number seven, in straight sets to reach the final 32 of the Australian Open.
The 19-year-old, who is the second youngest player in the world’s top 200 after American teen Coco Gauff, won two WTA titles last year, but had never been beyond the second round of a grand slam before.
Given the ease of her 6-2, 6-4 victory over such a high-ranked player, she will now be eyeing a place in the last 16 and beyond.
Strong support and second serves
“I do not really know what to say. I was feeling so good and I heard a lot of people cheering me on. It gave me a lot of confidence and I played a really good match,” she told media after her win in the Margaret Court Arena.
Eurosport’s Danish commentator Michael Mortensen agrees, enthusing: “She played with an authority and a joy of playing that was out of the ordinary, and it is one of the most solid achievements of her career.”
A clearly rattled Kontaveit was often caught out by the audaciousness of Tauson’s second serve, and although she managed to break the Dane twice in the second set, Tauson responded with a break of her own each time.
Nothing to fear in next opponent
Up next on Saturday is the US number 27 seed Danielle Collins. The bookies rate both players at around 40/1 to win the title, so it promises to be an even match.
While Collins has been here before – she made the semis of the Australian Open in 2019 in what was her breakout season – she has not made it beyond the third round in her last six major tournaments.
Furthermore, her victories, albeit in straight sets, against a qualifier and the world number 58 are nothing to overly write home about.
Quarters within reach
Tauson has nothing to lose. Anything after beating such a high seed will be a bonus.
In 2019, she won the Australian Open girls’ title, so she is clearly at home in the surroundings!
Should she beat Collins, her most likely opponent would be the Belgian 19th seed Elise Mertens – a perennial under-achiever in the grand slams.