In the normal world, tennis fans would’ve been preparing for the start of the 2020 French Open this week.
Australian teenager Destanee Aiava has recorded the best performance of her career, beating world No.10 Aryna Sabalenka in the opening round of the Libema Open in s-Hertogenbosch.
The 19-year-old from Melbourne justified the decision of tournament officials to award her a wildcard but dumping out the second-seeded Belarusian 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-4.
Aiava’s win was all the more impressive as she fought back from 3-0 down in the deciding set to set up a clash with Russian Veronika Kudermetova in the second round.
“I think it was all mental. It was a really long and tough match; I knew going into the match it was going to be a big challenge,” Aiava said.
“Well that (Sabalenka’s status as a top player) was playing on my mind before the match, but then going into it I just wanted to go for it and not waste the wildcard that the tournament gave me.
“So I just really wanted to take this opportunity and use it.”
“I’ve been working so hard the past couple of weeks, months, and I just really want everything to start coming together and getting some wins on the board, especially those top 10 wins – it means a lot to me,” she said.
Top seed Kiki Bertens powered into round two, putting behind her French Open disappointment behind her.
The Dutch world No.4 had been forced out of her second-round clash at Roland Garros against Viktoria Kuzmova because of gastrointestinal illness.
But she showed she had made a full recovery by coasting past her former doubles partner Johanna Larsson 6-3 6-1 in just under an hour to delight the home crowd.
Elsewhere, third seeded Belgian Elise Mertens also crashed out after she lost 6-4 6-2 against Ekaterina Alexandrova.
Her compatriot Kirsten Flipkens did progress to round two following a battling 6-3 3-6 6-1 win over Serbian Aleksandra Krunic.
In the men’s event, Australian No.5 Matt Ebden lost to France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 7-5.
In-form Jordan Thompson will play his second round clash with sixth-seeded Frenchman Frances Tiafoe on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old, who was Australia’s last man standing at the French Open before bowing out to Juan Martin del Potro in the third round in Paris.
Australian No.1 Alex de Minaur, who was given a bye into the second round, will start his grass court campaign for 2019 against Italian veteran Andreas Seppi.