Russia's Anna Kalinskaya hits a return against Italy's Jasmine Paolini at the Australian Open

Melbourne (AFP) - Unseeded Russian Anna Kalinskaya said Monday she was focused on the job at hand and was not feeling the nerves after powering into a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open.

The world number 75, who had never made it beyond the first round on four previous occasions in Melbourne, surged past Italian 26th seed Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-2.

“I think I don’t realise it yet,” she said of the career milestone. “I’m staying calm and positive. Just not thinking about what’s going on. Just play and enjoy.

“But it’s definitely a boost of confidence for the future.”

Kalinskaya, who struggled with leg injuries last year that kept her off the tour for nearly four months, slapped 20 winners past Paolini and made just 13 unforced errors to her opponent’s 33.

The 25-year-old has built a dedicated fan base with her exploits in Melbourne, which included beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

She has no idea who they are, but is enjoying their support.

“They’re super fun. I didn’t know them before this tournament. They came to watch me from round one. So I met them in the first match. They keep coming to watch me every single match,” she said.

“The crowd is very, very into tennis. It’s special to play here.”