Sixth seed Maria Sakkari became the latest major casualty at the Australian Open on Friday when she was shocked 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-4 by an emotional world number 87 Zhu Lin of China.
Zhu, whose 29th birthday will be on women’s singles final day next Saturday, is into the last 16 and a date with former champion Victoria Azarenka.
Zhu had lost all seven of her previous encounters against top-10 players. But you wouldn’t have known it in a late-night encounter on Margaret Court Arena which went past midnight and, fittingly, into Chinese New Year’s eve.
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Underdog Zhu celebrated the Year of the Rabbit by taking the first set on a tiebreak.
Though she dropped the second as Sakkari finally woke up, Zhu regrouped to secure the biggest…