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

Melbourne (AFP) - Unseeded Russian Anna Kalinskaya powered into a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday with a straight-sets thumping of Italian 26th seed Jasmine Paolini at the Australian Open.

The nerveless world number 75, who had never made it past the first round on four previous occasions in Melbourne, surged home 6-4, 6-2 on John Cain Arena.

She will face either Chinese 12th seed Zheng Qinwen or unseeded Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin next in her unexpected bid to reach the semi-finals.

“It feels amazing to pass so many rounds at a Grand Slam. It’s something special for me,” said Kalinskaya, who struggled with leg injuries last year that kept her off the tour for nearly four months.

“I was just fighting and staying positive.”

Neither Kalinskaya nor Paolini had a scored a main-draw win in Melbourne before this year, or gone beyond the second round at any Grand Slam.