Early end for Angelique Kerber
Photo: Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images
Angelique Kerber suffered a bitter first-round defeat at the Australian Open on her 34th birthday.
The former world number one lost to the Estonian Kaia Kanepi 4: 6, 3: 6.
Kerber failed in the first round in Melbourne last year.
For the first time since 1977, there are no Germans in the second round at the Australian Open.
On Monday, Andrea Petkovic and Tatjana Maria, the other two German starters, were eliminated.
Without any rhythm
Kerber, the 2016 tournament winner, had lowered her expectations before her 15th participation in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year after a disrupted preparation with a corona infection.
She had not played a preparatory tournament in the run-up to the Australian Open.
Against the 36-year-old Kanepi you could see the lack of rhythm.
But Kerber fought and caught up a 1:4 deficit in the first set.
Just as she seemed to have arrived in the match, however, she again lost the thread and the sentence.
At the beginning of the second round, Kerber fended off three breakballs, the match was like a roller coaster ride - the German number one even took the serve from the Estonian to make it 3: 2.
But Kerber immediately gave up the advantage and lost the following four games.