Adelaide, Australia, 24 February 2021 | Leigh Rogers

There is no stopping Storm Sanders, who has continued her incredible run at the Adelaide International this week.

The 26-year-old Australian scored her first top-30 win today, defeating world No.28 Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-4 5-7 6-1 in the second round.

“It was a tough match, she’s a really tough competitor, she runs a lot of balls down and you know she’s not going to go away,” Sanders said. “I really had to work for every point out there.”

It is world No.292 Sanders’ fourth consecutive win against a top 120-ranked opponent and propels the qualifier into her first WTA-level singles quarterfinal.

Sanders made a brilliant start against the three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, racing to a 4-1 lead. Serving for the opening set at 5-3, Sanders was broken. However, the Australian refused to let Putintseva build any momentum and immediately broke back to take the first set in 44 minutes.

Sanders was playing with confidence, dictating points with her aggressive ground strokes but also defending well when Putintseva engaged in long rallies.

Games went on serve until the 11th game of the second set, with Putintseva striking to edge ahead for the first time. The seventh seed then served it out to level the match.

A calm Sanders responded by producing her best tennis in the deciding set, racing through it 34 minutes to clinch victory after two hours and 17 minutes on court.

“I just thought I just got to give it a go, I have nothing to lose out here,” Sanders said of her mindset in the deciding set. “I just had to be a bit more aggressive, try to put a little bit more pressure on and just play on my terms a little bit more.”

It is Sanders’ second career win against a top 50-ranked opponent and first since January 2014, when she defeated world No.39 Peng Shuai at the Hobart International.

Sanders, who finished the match with 41 winners, plays world No.12 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the next round. It will be her third career meeting against a top 20-ranked opponent.

“It’s going a really tough match,” Sanders said. “But I’m going to go out there stick to my game plan, have fun and just go for it. I have absolutely nothing to lose.”

Sanders is the last remaining Australian woman in the singles draw, with world No.1 Ash Barty and qualifier Maddison Inglis both losing their second-round matches tonight.

> READ: Collins spoils Barty’s title defence in Adelaide

Adelaide International – Aussies in action


Women’s singles, second round
[Q] Storm Sanders (AUS) d [7] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-4 5-7 6-1
Danielle Collins (USA) d [1] Ash Barty (AUS) 6-3 6-4
[5] Iga Swiatek (POL) d [Q] Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-1 6-3

Women’s doubles, first round
[3] Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Alexa Guarachi (CHI) d Destanee Aiava (AUS)/Astra Sharma (AUS) 7-6(6) 7-5
Kaitlyn Christian (USA)/Sabrina Santamaria (USA) d Olivia Gadecki (AUS)/Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-4 6-3


Women’s singles, quarterfinals
[Q] Storm Sanders (AUS) v [2] Belinda Bencic (SUI)

> VIEW: Adelaide International women’s singles draw

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
Lizette Cabrera (AUS)/Maddison Inglis (AUS) v Xu Yifan (CHN)/Yang Zhaoxuan (CHN)
Abbie Myers (AUS)/Ivana Popovic (AUS) v [3] Desirae Krawczyk (USA)/Alexa Guarachi (CHI)

Adelaide International tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster. Prices start at $20 for adults, with free tickets available for children at all sessions.