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I'm amazed I'm this good, says world number 418 Kanepi

06 Septembre 2017

A year ago at this time, Kaia Kanepi figures she probably was spending her September afternoons taking her dog for a walk.

After a tidy 6-4, 6-4 win over Russian Daria Kasatkina put her into the US Open quarter-finals on Monday, the 418th ranked Estonian is now trying to figure out a way to beat Elina Svitolina or Madison Keys.

Kanepi is only the second player to achieve this as a qualifier, the first one being Barbara Gerken in 1981, although five women did so while unranked entirely. Still, Kanepi is coming off a match in which she won 56 percent of her return points, and she's combined for 81 winners in her last three matches.

But after passing her time by walking her dog Bossu, taking a vacation in Hawaii and racing cars on Finland's treacherous ice roads, she made a decision to try tennis once more."In June a year ago, I didn't care if I didn't play tennis again", said Kanepi.

Daria Kasatkina in action
Daria Kasatkina in action

Kanepi said she was very proud to have made it that far, and to be back and able to play the important matches again. She got into that year's field via a wild card from the U.S. Tennis Association as a past champion in NY. She also lost Saturday in the U.S. Open's third round to Kaia Kanepi.

In 2016, she appeared just once in Rabat as she battled the effects of Epstein-Barr virus and then painful plantar fasciitis in both feet.

It will be her sixth quarter-final at the majors and second in NY after also reaching the last eight in 2010. She's 0-5 in major quarterfinals. Kanepi hopes to make her first ever grand slam semifinal, and this is her first quarterfinal trip since the 2013 Wimbledon.

"She was putting a lot of pressure on me, and I was trying to play more contrast. I love the courts and the climate, and I think that the courts suit my game really well". "If you do, then things will come", she said. "Good as it was before".

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I'm amazed I'm this good, says world number 418 Kanepi