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Pro Media & News

Kenin wins in China,

claims third WTA title of 2019

Arthur Kapetanakis  |  September 21, 2019
Samantha Stosur (L) of Australia poses for photos with second-placed Sofia Kenin (R) of the US after their women's singles final match at the Guangzhou Open tennis tournament in Guangzhou in China's southern Guangdong province on September 21, 2019. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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Sofia Kenin claimed the singles title at the 2019 Guangzhou International Women's Open on Saturday with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Samantha Stosur. The China trophy triumph represents the third title of the 20-year-old's blossoming career, all of which have come in the past nine months.

 

Kenin (pictured above, left) won six straight sets en route to the semifinals, then battled through a pair of three-setters at the business end of her campaign. The No. 3 seed won a 7-6, 4-6, 6-1 semifinal against Anna Blinkova on Friday before beating Stosur (above, right), the 2011 US Open women's singles champion.

 

Saturday's final began soon after midnight E.T., and any American fans who stayed up late to watch were treated to a gritty comeback from Kenin. After leading by a break early in set one, Kenin was pegged back and eventually dropped the opener, 7-4, in the tiebreak.

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It was a similar story in set two, as Stosur erased another strong start from the American, 15 years her junior, and the Aussie eventually stood two games from the title herself at 4-all. 

 

But that's when Kenin took over with a run of six straight games. She broke and held to level the championship encounter at one set apiece, then won the first four games of the deciding set to place one hand on the trophy.

 

Her third-set dominance was highlighted by a full-stretch forehand winner to end an 18-point rally and bring up three break points at 0-2, love-40.

 

A booming wide serve, delivered with her trademark "no-look" toss, clinched the title.

 

The Guangzhou victory will move the American to a new career high of No. 17, up from No. 20. It comes one month after back-to-back WTA Premier 5 semifinals for Kenin during the US Open Series, at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Her previous titles came at the Hobart International in January and the Malorca Open in June, and she also reached the final at the Mexican Open in March.

 

Kenin will stay in China for the WTA Premier 5 event in Wuhan, which begins Sunday. Seeded No. 15, Kenin is set to face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Round 1. 

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