Champion Angelique Kerber knocked out of Australian Open as top seeds tumble in fourth round

 
Frank Dalleres
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2017 Australian Open - Day 7
Kerber has made a disappointing start to the season (Source: Getty)

Defending champion Angelique Kerber rued another below-par display after her disappointing season continued with a surprise defeat to American Coco Vandeweghe at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Kerber suffered the earliest exit by a women’s singles title-holder in Melbourne for a decade as she followed men’s top seed Sir Andy Murray out of the tournament at the fourth round.

World No35 Vandeweghe overpowered the German 6-2, 6-3 to claim the biggest win of her career and set up a quarter-final with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

Read more: How much can tennis stars earn at the Australian Open?

“I was not playing good from the first point,” said Kerber, who also disappointed at warm-up events in Sydney and Brisbane earlier this month.

“It was not my day and not my match, but this is tennis, and you have good days and bad days.”

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Vandeweghe has only reached the quarter-finals of a grand slam once before (Source: Getty)

Vandeweghe, who has only reached the last eight of a grand slam once before, said she felt “like crap” and, despite a dominant performance, had not been confident.

“I guess I faked it,” she said. “I was nervous, but I had a game plan to execute and I knew that as along as I kept picking my spots, I had a chance.”

Veteran Venus Williams beat world No118 Mona Barthel of Germany 6-3, 7-5 and faces 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-finals.

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