Kenin Taking Positives from
2020 Grand Slam Season
Victoria Chiesa | October 10, 2020
Despite a defeat in her last Grand Slam match of the season, American No. 1 Sofia Kenin says she'll take a boatload of positives into 2021 after a WTA year unlike any other.
After a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Polish teenager Iga Swiatek in Saturday's French Open final, the Australian Open champion reflected on a breakthrough year at the sport's biggest events, where she went a WTA-best 16-2 overall despite losing nearly six months of play as a result of COVID-19.
"A lot of positives, for sure. The whole negative is the pandemic that happened. I guess I have the most winning matches in Slams... the least amount of losses," Kenin said.
"Obviously, I'm playing some really good tennis at the slams. In Australia I won. US Open I got to the fourth round, had a tough one against Elise Mertens. Here getting to the finals. Overall, it's a good ratio in the Grand Slams. ADVERTISEMENT I feel like I'm playing some really good tennis.
"Australia was very special. I was a champion. First Grand Slam title... Here, it was obviously really difficult. She was giving an interview, and I was just sitting on the bench and crying. Obviously, I had a lot of emotions. I tried my best to not cry in the speech and everything. At the end, I cried.
"It's not easy. Obviously, I wish I would have held that beautiful trophy. It's not easy standing when you were so close to win the title and you lost it. It's tough, but it is what it is. I'm just going to take the positives."
With just two tournaments left on the WTA calendar for 2020 in Ostrava, Czech Republic and Linz, Austria, Kenin says she's looking forward to getting some rest after being hampered by a leg injury against Swiatek, who became the first Polish player, man or woman, to win a Grand Slam singles title. After breaking serve in the first game of the second set, Kenin lost six straight games to surrender the title, receiving a medical timeout when down 2-1.
Kenin was taken to three sets in four of her seven singles matches at the tournament, and also reached the doubles quarterfinals alongside partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
"[Swiatek] obviously played a really good match. She's really hot right now, playing some really great tennis. I'm not going to use this as an excuse, but my leg obviously was not the best. It's obviously disappointing," Kenin said.
"I've had this in the past, but not quite often. I'm obviously working well on my fitness. It's not such a problem that I have. I used to have it quite a bit. I always used to get it taped on my left abductor.
"Obviously, it's expected that it's a little bit sore, given the circumstances, how many matches I played, three-setters. On clay it's very physical. You have to move and slide a lot. I'm not too worried about the fact that I was getting taped.
"I have to rest. I had a great run here... I'm going to use this time to get my leg rested and everything, and start preseason."