KENIN ONE TO WATCH
WITH a maiden WTA title under her belt, US youngster Sofia Kenin, above, has her sights fixed on doing some damage at the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old claimed the Hobart International yesterday, surging past unseeded Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-3 6-0 in her first top-level singles final.
A POTENTIAL second round clash against world No.1 Simona Halep at the Australian Open awaits Sofia Kenin, and the American is itching to see exactly how her fast improving game stacks up.
Kenin completed a dominant week in Tasmania yesterday by storming to her maiden WTA title at the Hobart International, blowing away Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-3, 6-0.
The world No. 56, who will rise into the top 40 following her stunning victory, peeled off the last nine games to seal the result in an hour and 11 minutes.
She did not drop a set all week and blasted top seed and world No. 19 Caroline Garcia, seventh seed Kirsten Flipkens and sixth seed Alize Cornet out of the tournament in the process.
After winning her first WTA doubles title in Auckland alongside Eugenie Bouchard last week, Kenin heads to the first Grand Slam of the year as one of the world’s most inform players.
However should she dispatch qualifier Veronika Kudermetova in her opening round, a date with Halep beckons to see exactly how much she has improved following a big off-season.
“I couldn’t ask for a better start. This gives me a boost and a lot of confidence coming into Australia and I believe e I can do it. I have proven it,” Kenin enin said.
“I definitely feel this his way. I play a qualifier and she is obviously tough to play but I am going in with a lot of confidence and hopefully I can do some damage there.
“When I saw Halep and saw myself [in the same section of the draw] I saw it, one match at a time and hopefully I can play Halep I guess.”
From 3-3 in the first set it was all one way traffic at the Domain Tennis Centre, with Kenin absorbing a heap of pressure early on serve and fighting off eight break points.
Although Schmiedlova finally converted her ninth opportunity to level proceedings at 3-3, Kenin quickly hit back and from there it was all one way traffic.
She finished the final with 21 winners to 12, while only
having 20 unforced errors to 26 and landing an astonishing 86 per cent of her first serves.
“It might have looked easy but every game was close and I knew I had to play well and I couldn’t let down because anything can happen,” Kenin said.
“Even at 5-0 I knew I had to close it.
“It is amazing. I am really happy to have won. I am happy with the way I composed myself during the match.”
HOT FORM: Sofia Kenin on her way to the Hobart International singles title in yesterday’s final against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia, left.