World no.1 Ashleigh Barty suffered a shocking defeat in the round of 16 match against qualifier Jennifer Brady at the Brisbane International.
With the season-opener underway, Barty was the home crowd favourite and a possible contender for the Australian Open with her incredible performance last season. However, the world number one lost her second round match against American Jennifer Brady in straight sets.
This was Barty’s first match following her first round bye. Dubbed the “best win of her career” according to WTA, Brady won her first Top 10 victory against Barty 6-4, 7-6(4).
The world no.53 was in great form as she breezed through the qualifiers in straight sets and emerged victorious over her first-round opponent Maria Sharapova who was given a wild card for the tournament.
In their third encounter, this became the first time Brady defeated the world no.1. In five appearances at the tournament, Barty has been unsuccessful to get past the second round. With a sliver of hope at the tournament, the WTA Finals champion is still in contention for a win in the doubles category.
This is, however, an alarming performance for Barty ahead of the Australian Open where she carries the hopes of an entire nation to bring home the title after 41 years. Prior to the major, Barty will play at the Adelaide International which will hopefully show an improved form as the Australian no.1 remains unfazed after her defeat.
Brady became the fourth American to move into the quarterfinals after Madison Keys, Danielle Rose Collins and Alison Riske as she will prepare to face two-time Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova. Former world no.1 and defending champion, Karolina Pliskova also registered a win over AjlaTomljanović and will face Riske in the quarterfinals.
World no.3 Naomi Osaka edged out American Sofia Kenin in three sets and she will now take on the winner of the match between Kiki Bertens and Anett Kontaveit in the round of 16.