Top seed and World No. 1 Angelique Kerber was still trying to find her stride in the first week of the Australian Open, and then she ran into the power game of World No.35 Coco Vandeweghe.
The 25-year-old claimed a place in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time, and made it look relatively easy in her straight set 6-2, 6-3 late night win.
With her six aces and 30 winners, Vandeweghe took and maintained control of the match from beginning to end.
“I guess I faked [having confidence] a lot because I was feeling like crap out there,” said Vandeweghe. “But, you know, fake it ‘til you make it’ … my game plan was to execute knowing that she was going to get a lot of balls back.”
Kerber never seemed comfortable and was never allowed to utilize her strength of long rallies and consistent play by the hard-hitting and composed game of Vandeweghe.
“It was a tough match, and of course I’m disappointed,” said Kerber. “But I was not feeling the ball at all tonight. I was not playing good from the first point. So, yeah, it was not my day and not my match, for sure.”
Vandeweghe, who celebrated her biggest career victory with a shrug of the shoulders, moves on to meet the No.7 seed Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, another power-hitter, in the last eight.
“Last year I came here and didn’t even win a match and here I am now,” Vandeweghe added. “It’s confidence having a full off-season with no injuries … I set a goal for this tournament to make the quarter-finals.”