Danish teenager Clara Tauson and French veteran Alize Cornet have blown the Australian Open women's draw wide open with two stunning upsets at Melbourne Park.
Tauson surprised even herself with a 6-2 6-4 second-round win over sixth seed Anett Kontaveit before Cornet sent world No.3 Garbine Muguruza packing minutes later on Thursday.
Cornet's 6-3 6-3 defeat of Muguruza is the shock of the tournament thus far and vaulted the 32-year-old into a third-round clash with Tamara Zidansek.
A former world No.1 and 2020 Open runner-up, Muguruza had loomed as a potential final opponent for Australian title favourite Ash Barty after winning the 2021 season-ending championship in November.
The day of upsets was topped off on Margaret Court when US Open champion Emma Raducanu, hampered by a blistered hand, suffered a shock 6-4 4-6 6-3 loss to Danka Kovinic.
Kovinic, ranked 98th in the world, will next take on 2018 runner-up and two-time grand slam champion Simona Halep, the 14th seed, who made light work of Beatriz Haddad Maia in a 6-2 6-0 thrashing.
The junior champion at Melbourne Park three years ago, Tauson could barely believe it after ousting Kontaveit in the day's first boilover.
After gate-crashing the world's top 10 for the first time, Kontaveit reached the semi-finals of the season-ending championships in Mexico and opened 2022 with a run to the last four in Sydney last week.
But Tauson blew the Estonian off court to enhance the 19-year-old's reputation as the new Great Dane of tennis after the retirement of 2018 Australian Open champion and former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki.
"I didn't really go into this match with a winning thought and I was just so happy to be here," Tauson said.
"Anett has been playing well the last few months. I was just going in to see where my level was at and here I am."
Next up for the world No.39 is American Danielle Collins on Saturday in a match Tauson wasn't planning for.
"I don't even know who I'm playing," she said.
"I'm just going in happy and believing I can play this level of tennis all the time and we'll see how it goes."
While Muguruza and Kontaveit crashed out, world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka escaped the carnage despite coughing up 19 double-faults against Xinyu Wang.
Sabalenka regrouped after committing 12 doubles in her first two service games alone to advance 1-6 6-4 6-2.
The Belarusian will play Marketa Vondrousova next after the 31st-seeded Czech beat Russian Liudmila Samsonova 6-2 7-5.
Polish seventh seed Iga Swiatek progressed with a far more routine 6-2 6-2 victory over Swede Rebecca Peterson.
Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, faces Russian Daria Kasatkina in the third round, having dropped only seven games en route to the last 32.
Russian 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ended Samantha Stosur's singles career with a 6-2 6-2 win over Australia's retiring grand slam champion.
Stosur's departure leaves jubilant wildcard Maddison Inglis to fly the Australian flag in the bottom half of the draw.
The 24-year-old continued her dream run with a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-2 triumph over US qualifier Hailey Baptiste.
Australian Associated Press
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