As the winner of the only grand slam to happen so far this year, plenty of eyes will be on Sofia Kenin to see if she can build on that victory and become a prominent fixture at the top of the scene in WTA. The second seed will play Yanina Wickmayer, who made the semi-finals as a teenager back in 2009.
Watch the Kenin vs Wickmayer Live Stream Here.
Wickmayer scraped into the main draw despite a ranking outside the top 140 and it is probably telling of her priorities that she chose to compete (and fail to qualify from) in clay qualifying in Palermo and Prague prior to this event. Once a constant in the top 100, Wickmayer has only had fleeting appearances inside it in the past three years and will find it difficult to get back to her best.
Kenin looked to be building on her Melbourne triumph when she added a Lyon hard court title prior to lockdown. However, a return to the court in Cincinnati/New York was disappointing with a straight sets loss to Alize Cornet for the second seed. It does show the difference a year makes though as she entered last year as 20th seed, where a third round loss to Madison Keys was not too damaging for her.
“I feel like as I was playing Australia, I just got more matches, I got more confidence. It started paying off, everything that I’ve done, all the hard work I’ve put in. Definitely fitness, obviously, has helped. I’ve been doing it during this whole quarantine and everything… but the major thing is confidence for me.” the American said on Saturday. Her return to the court may not have been successful but there is no doubting Kenin remains a tricky customer and will fight to the end. If she can ease through her first few matches, a confident Kenin will be a tough prospect especially if there are players lacking sharpness after such a long absence.
Prediction – Sofia Kenin in straight sets