Kerber upbeat despite shock loss
Angelique Kerber admitted that she was struggling to find her best form after slumping to a shock defeat to Daria Kasatkina at the Sydney International.
The world number one, who won the Australian Open and US Open last year, as well as reaching the final at Wimbledon, was beaten 7-6 6-2 as Kasatkina moved into the quarter-finals of the tournament. Kerber is 10/3 to win this year's Australian Open.
Last week at the Brisbane International, the Russian teenager almost knocked Garbine Muguruza out and she is one of the rising stars of the game.
A dejected Kerber said after her exit from the tournament: "The first matches of the year are always tough, and I'm still not feeling my rhythm. I made too many mistakes. I was not feeling the ball.
"It's tough, but I think it was still good to have a match before going to Melbourne."
Kasatkina will play the number six seed Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals after the British number one beat Daria Gavrilova, who had been the last Australian in the draw.
Konta emerged triumphant 6-1 6-3, and said afterwards: "It's such a strong tournament, such depth. I know going into every single match that it's going to be a tough one and I'm just going to have to, first and foremost, take care of things my end."
Konta is 14/1 to win the Australian Open, while Serena Williams can be backed at 5/2 and Simona Halep at 1212/1.
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