In the normal world, tennis fans would’ve been preparing for the start of the 2020 French Open this week.
World number one Ashleigh Barty’s hopes of becoming the first Australian woman to win the singles title at the Australian Open since Chris O’Neil have been dashed following a surprise 7-6, 7-5 loss to 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin.
With the second and third seeds eliminated earlier in the tournament, Barty was the slight favourite to take out the grand slam – with her biggest hurdle thought to be white-hot fourth-seed Simona Halep.
However, her tournament came to a disappointing end against 14th-seed Kenin, who will now play the winner of Halep and Garbine Muguruza on Saturday, February 1.
It was an uncharacteristically error-prone performance from the 23-year-old, who failed to convert several break points in the first set, before electing not to challenge a shot during the tiebreaker that replays later confirmed was out.
Crucially, in the final game of the second set, Barty started with a double fault to virtually hand Kenin the match.
MORE TO COME