CINCINNATI, OH, USA - For the second week running, Anett Kontaveit scored a victory over a Grand Slam champion and former World No.1 on the North American hard courts.
After beating Maria Sharapova in an epic first round clash at the Rogers Cup, the Estonian defeated No.13 seed Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, 7-6(7), 6-2.
Making her debut in Cincinnati, the World No.20 rallied from a deficit in the first set tiebreak, as she seemed primed to fall behind by a set after leading by an early break twice.
The Estonian came from 5-3 down, and saved a set point at 6-5, to come through a close opener, and later broke the German twice to win second set at a canter.
Kontaveit won the first nine points behind her serve in the second set, as she notched a pair of love holds to lead 4-0, and erased the lone break point she faced in the set in what became the final game of the match.
The Estonian will next face Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek, who defeated Caroline Garcia in straight sets on Monday to advance.
Kontaveit's upset was the big statement victory around the grounds on Tuesday, but several lower-ranked players also sprung surprises on higher-ranked opponents.
World No.30 Hsieh Su-wei defeated World No.17 Wang Qiang in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, while World No.41 Daria Kasatkina upended Wimbledon semifinalist Barbora Strycova, 6-4, 7-6(9) in over two hours to reach the second round.
Also advancing were Sofia Kenin, who held off German Julia Goerges, 6-4, 7-6(6); Jennifer Brady, who won a battle of qualifiers against Ons Jabeur, 6-2, 6-2; and China's Wang Yafan, who rallied from 6-3, 5-3 down to beat Monica Puig, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a match of two lucky losers.